Tyler Olander has joined his older brother in Lithuania, signing with BC Siauliai of the Lithuanian National League (LKL). Siauliai won the 2014 Baltic Basketball League (BBL) title this past season led by former Georgia Bulldog/Los Angeles Clipper Travis Leslie and former Fairfield guard Derek Needham. This season, Siauliai will compete in the EuroChallenge featuring teams from across Europe including Enel Brindisi, Jerome Dyson’s former club. Although Olander’s UCONN statistics do not stand out (2.8ppg/2.6rpg in 135 games), his willingness to play out of position resulted in two National Championships during his tenure. In doing so, he became only the third player in the storied history of UCONN men’s basketball to win multiple National Championships. In Europe, Olander will be used on the perimeter as a stretch 4- much more conducive to his style of play. Congratulations to Tyler and best of luck in Lithuania next season.
Round 24 was a reunion for former Fairfield basketball players Derek Needham and Ryan Olander, 4,000 miles from the state of Connecticut. In a back and forth game featuring six lead changes and eight ties, Olander came away with the last laugh as #10 Lietkabelis pulled off the overtime upset at home over #5 Siauliai, 83-77. Siauliai watched its 9 point half time lead quickly evaporate behind a 24-14 third quarter run by Lietkabelis. Olander was key in the closing possessions of the quarter scoring 6 points to counter each Siauliai attack. After squandering a 5 point lead with 1 minute to go in regulation the game went to OT where Olander once again made his presence felt. Down 2 with 2:33 remaining, Olander snuck behind the defense for an AND-1 to put Lietkabelis up 1 and they would not look back from there holding on for the 6 point victory. Olander finished the game with 16 points/5 rebounds, leading the team with a 20 efficiency rating. American Travis Leslie (Georgia) put on a show for the losers scoring 28 points and grabbing 15 rebounds while throwing down two highlight reel dunks. Derek Needham had 5 points/6 assists for Siauliai.
Game can be watched here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788033&season_id=87901
#10 Lietkabelis could not overcome a hot start from #7 Juventus as they fell on the road 101-74. Juventus, behind 24 points from former Seton Hall sharpshooter Jeremy Hazell, shot over 53% from 3 (16-30) and 56% (23-41) from inside the arc to sink Lietkabelis. Ryan Olander provided 9 points/4 rebounds in the losing effort. Lietkabelis has a week off to rest before hosting three straight home games in a final push for a playoff berth beginning with #9 Nevezis Tuesday, March 18th.