Coming into the Syracuse Orange basketball season, Marek Dolezaj — Syracuse’s 6-foot-9, 180 pound forward from Slovakia — was a bit of an unknown. It was thought that he had some ability, but would his slender frame be a headwind?
Now, one shouldn’t draw too many conclusions just two official games into the season, but it appears Dolezaj’s head coach doesn’t think negatively of his frame, at least for the time being.
“He goes after the ball, he really hustles. You know, obviously he hasn’t gotten his shooting. He works hard every day on his shooting. It’s a long way’s away but he’s going to try to go after it,” Jim Boeheim said of Dolezaj following Syracuse’s win over Iona.
“Everybody talks about strength. Hakim Warrick weighed 160 pounds when he came in here as a freshman and he was pretty good. He never weighed more than 180 (pounds),” Boeheim finished.
Now Jim has been known to speak in hyperbole in the past and 160 pounds seems like a stretch, but the point is well taken. What Dolezaj lacks in mass has been made up for with speed, hustle and positioning thus far.
“I mean everybody talks about weight when they want to be negative. That has nothing to do with it. He’ll be fine, he’s going to keep going after it. He’s thin so he can move faster. You’ve got look at the positive side of things once in a while instead of negative all the time,” Jim concluded.
The jury is still out on whether or not that positive will hold true throughout the season, particularly in ACC play. But it’s good to see Jim focussing on the positives and turning over a new leaf just before his 73rd birthday. Happy birthday on Friday!