Tulane waited a long time to bring some help to its frontcourt.
The first piece of assistance will come in the form of Dylan Osetkowski, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound post player who signed with coach Ed Conroy and the Green Wave. He is available for the 2014-15 season.
Osetkowski, a product of San Juan Capistrano, California, played a combination of center and power forward for JSerra Catholic High School, averaging 14.8 points per game and 9.9 rebounds.
“I think one of my strengths is I have played both positions (center and power forward) and am able to adjust and do whichever the coaches want,” Osetkowski said. “I definitely like to bang in the low block, but I’m also comfortable stepping back and shooting and stretching the defense. I compare myself in some ways to Kevin Love and the way he plays.”
For now, Tulane will need his physicality more than his shooting. It returns just two true post players — center Ryan Smith and forward Tre Drye — after losing Ray Barreno to transfer and centers Tomas Bruha and Kevin Thomas to graduation.
The shallow depth in the Tulane frontcourt wasn’t of particular importance to Osetkowski, who said his top priorities in choosing a school were meshing with the coaching staff, academic reputation and the health of the basketball program.
After visiting the campus and assistant coach Jeff Strohm last month, Osetkowski chose Tulane over offers from Washington State, Colorado State, UC-Irvine, Utah State, Harvard and Columbia.
He will help lead the Green Wave into its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference, a league that secured four bids to the NCAA tournament last year, including national champion Connecticut. His signing came after Tulane announced a two-year extension for Conroy.
“Everybody at Tulane seemed really excited about the direction,” Osetkowski said. “The players and the coaches and the people around that we talked to were saying a lot about the new conference and what it means to them. That was great to hear.”
He is the second player added by the Green Wave within the past month, joining former LSU guard Malik Morgan, who will sit out this season because of the NCAA’s transfer rule.
Osetkowski’s signing was particularly critical since it came on the heels of 7-foot-1 Tulane target Link Kabadyundi choosing TCU over the Green Wave on Tuesday night. Tulane has one scholarship remaining for the current signing period.
“The whole process was a little overwhelming,” Osetkowski said. “I’m glad it’s over and that I’m headed to Tulane in a few weeks.”