Dominik Olejniczak is reportedly taking his seven-foot frame to another school next season. As reported by Matt Zenitz of AL.com, the big man is on his way out after a junior season in which he started 22 of the 33 games and averaged 5.3 points and three rebounds per game.
There’s no word on Olejniczak’s next destination. The Poland native came to Ole Miss from Drake University, where he averaged 6.5 points per game as a freshman. His scoring average dipped to 4.3 points per game in his first season in Oxford after sitting out one season per transfer rules.
First-year head coach Kermit Davis was able to coax stronger defense out of Olejniczak (who blocked nearly one shot per game this season after averaging half a block per game in Andy Kennedy’s final year), but ultimately, I don’t think Dom was a good fit in the new system. He’s a solid athlete for a seven-footer, but at times showed a lack of toughness toughness and rebounding prowess. Dom averaged just 2.8 rebounds per game in his 65 appearances in Oxford, which I don’t think met expectations for a guy of his size.
That isn’t meant as a slight on Dom, this is just not the best team for his talents right now. He can play at a high level: we saw it in a January against Arkansas when he posted 13 points and five rebounds in a convincing win.
Olejniczak averaged less than 20 minutes per game—a slight number given that his main competition for floor time were JUCO transfer senior Bruce Stevens and three freshmen forwards (Blake Hinson, K.J. Buffen and Luis Rodriguez). Stevens is graduating, but Hinson, Buffen and Rodriguez are set to return next season.
Olejniczak’s departure may have more to do with the impending arrivals of 6’10 center Rodney Howard (who ranks just outside the top 200 high school prospects) and 6’9 power forward Sammy Hunter (ranked 408th nationally). Add 6’11 redshirt freshman Carlos Curry and Dom’s minutes were unlikely to see a significant increase next season.
With Olejniczak’s departure, Ole Miss basketball now has 13 scholarship players on its roster for next season, the maximum allowed by the NCAA. There’s always a chance for more departures and transfers, so the Cup will stay locked onto any movement this offseason.