Ryan Olander Becomes a Stag
Fairfield wasn’t supposed to have a chance. Ryan Olander had already decided that when he went to college it wouldn’t be in Connecticut.
“That just shows you what a great job [Head Coach Ed] Cooley and his staff did recruiting Ryan,” said CT Gold Director Kevin Kehoe.
In the end Fairfield was able to beat out programs like Siena and Richmond to land the services of the senior from E.O. Smith High School.
Not only was Cooley able to convince the local talent to stay close to home but he also appears to be one of the biggest single reasons behind Olander’s decision.
“Cooley’s track record of developing big men at Boston College is off the charts,” said Kehoe. “With Ryan’s talent level he will thrive under Cooley.”
And by all indications the 6’11” forward is far from having reached his peek. While his skills with the basketball are undeniable, so is the fact that they are still growing at a consistent rate. That’s not the only thing that’s growing as Olander may still reach the 7’0” mark and is bound to add a significant amount of muscle in the Fairfield weight room.
If that weren’t enough, at Fairfield he will be playing in the flex offense, which is ideally suited for a big man who likes to face the basket from the perimeter. With Olander’s combination of size and skills he is likely to punish defenders when coming off of screens at the elbow area. The flex is the same offense that Boston College has been running for years that has helped in the development of big men like Craig Smith, Sean Williams, and Jared Dudley.
Olander becomes the second New England product in the Stags’ 2008 recruiting class, joining 6’3” guard Jamal Turner from the Tilton School. Turner and Olander were on the Fairfield campus together for their visits and are said to have formed an immediate bond.
“Turner just got his first and biggest assist at Fairfield, because he recruited the heck out of Olander,” said Kehoe. “Those two had an instant connection on and off the floor.”
If that connection continues to flourish over the next four years then it is a good bet that Fairfield’s standing in the MAAC will do the same.