Olbrich ostensibly on the right path

AT JUST 17 years of age, Adelaide native Lachlan Olbrich has taken leaps and bounds in his basketball career, highlighted by a strong start to the 2022/23 NCAA season.

Playing with the UC Riverside Highlanders, Olbrich has fit in perfectly as a freshman, posting some impressive numbers over the first few weeks and the forward looks set for an impactful season at collegiate level.

Hailing from South Australia, Olbrich opted to head over to the United States and accept an NCAA offer, rather than suit up for the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL, which was a short stint for the youngster in the 2021/22 season, after signing as a development player.

Olbrich suited up for the Southern Tigers in the most recent NBL1 season, and despite being one of the youngest players in the competition he looked right at home, playing against some of the best that South Australia has to offer.

Defensively, Olbrich has proven to be quite tricky, mastering the art of deflections and creating havoc for those who are trying to post him up. A solid unit standing at six-foot-10, he certainly makes his presence known in the paint with some towering blocks, during which he maintains a straight-up motion that does not give the officials any chance to call a foul.

Olbrich has also proven himself as a capable ball handler, a reflection of the hybrid big men that are coming through in the current generation of young players. For the Tigers, he often controlled the tempo on the fast break and showed a tendency to make the right decision and find his teammates on the perimeter whenever the defence collapsed on him in the paint.

Shooting is one area of improvement for the big man, although he has shown signs of growth over the past few years. At collegiate level, he is shooting just 19 per cent from downtown over his first seven games, but a season-high points total of 16 points came when he fired from deep, going two from three behind the arc, so he has the capability to find the right shooting mechanic.

Olbrich has improved over the four games for the Highlanders, registering double-digits in three of those outings and playing a much bigger role for the team. A post-up threat and valued contributor on the defensive end, Olbrich has plenty of growth left and should thrive for UC Riverside in the coming years after a promising start on Australian shores.

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