Over the past two weeks, we have provided lots of insight about Polish big man Przemek Karnowski. However, the one thing that we have yet to cover is the recruiting aspect of the story. Thankfully, that is what will be discussed today, as here is the third part of our interview with Rafal Juc.
Rafal Juc is an employee of the Polish Basketball Federation and a basketball scout for Eurohopes.com. We want to thank Rafal once again for taking the time to provide some terrific insight about this intriguing prospect. Here is Part II of the interview with Rafal. Be sure to check Rafal Juc out on Twitter (@rafjuc)
TSSF: With Gonzaga, can you talk a little bit about his relationship with Tommy Lloyd and what he likes about Gonzaga. How important is the success that Gonzaga has the success with previous Europeans been for Karnowski?
Rafal Juc: Honestly, I have never spoken personally with Tommy Lloyd or anyone from the Gonzaga coaching staff, but it seems that Lloyd is responsible for recruiting Karnowski. This is no surprise since Lloyd is considered as one of the top International recruiters, because as you mentioned, he landed Ronny Turiaf and Elias Harris. From what I know, for Karnowski, the most important thing is minutes during his freshman year. He wants to play at a place where the coaching staff runs a system and doesn't just play run-and-gun basketball. He wants to play for a program with a good tradition of developing big guys.
There is no doubt that Gonzaga is one of the best, if not the best school, in the last few years when it comes to working with European frontcourt players. Coach Lloyd traveled to Europe see Karnowski. He was one of two NCAA coaches who were in Poland last fall. Lloyd visited Karnowski, saw his practices and talked with his head coach. This visit definitely will pay off since Karnowski may not have the time to visit any schools in the States.
TSSF: When do you expect Karnowski to make his ultimate decision and commit to a school?
Rafal Juc: Right now, Karnowski is really far away from making his final decision. A couple weeks ago, I was in Kaunas in Lithuania to watch the Nike International Junior Tournament and had the occasion to chat with some reputable scouts from Europe as well as from the NBA. There were some strong rumors that Karnowski to Gonzaga is a done deal, but I must stress - these were only rumors.
He has a busy schedule coming up - his team, Siarka Jezioro, started the final part of the season. In addition to that, in May, Karnowski will be taking final exams for school. Clearly, Karnowski will be busy, but nobody said life was easy for a student-athlete. With this schedule, Karnowski might not find time to visit schools, and will be forced to make his final decision based only on chats with coaches, players, family and friends. Taking this into account, along with the fact that Karnowski is going to take the TOEFL exam soon, I am convinced that he will make his final decision as late as possible.