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Deniz Kilicli Rising Up the Charts

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You remember a few weeks ago when we told you about the Turkish sensation Deniz Kilicli? Well if you dont, you need to learn now, as he is rising up the charts and becoming one of the hottest properties in college basketball recruiting. The prep school star in that hotbed of talent, Beckley West Virginia, is now drawing looks from Duke, Connecticut, Florida and others, to go along with our Kentucky Wildcats. He will be attending Midnight Madness in three weeks here in Lexington and has become an important target for UK. So what kind of talent is Deniz? Well an NBA draft site (DraftExpress.com) talks about him this way:

Kilicli started off this camp strong and finished even stronger, winning many new fans along the way and a slew of comparisons to players like Luis Scola and Blake Griffin. An incredibly well built left-handed big man standing somewhere between 6-8 and 6-9, Kilicli does not enjoy a great wingspan or incredible explosiveness around the basket. He makes up for that though with outstanding footwork in the paint, the ability to finish craftily with either hand, or a variety of unorthodox moves in the form of scoop shots and pivot moves.

Kilicli is an extremely tough young big man–he competes very hard inside and thus does a great job grabbing offensive rebounds and blocking shots. He has an excellent feel for the game to go along with that, and even showed some sparks of ability to face the basket and either knock down a mid-range jumper (out to about 17 feet) or put the ball on the floor intelligently. He seems to be very well schooled, boxing out fundamentally on every shot attempt, showing a great sense for finding the open man (possibly the best part of his game), and reacting very well to things going on around him. Although he’s left-handed, he oddly shoots free throws and mid-range jumpers with his right hand, and appears to be ambidextrous around the basket.

Considering his very mature frame, combined with his relatively average size and athleticism, there will be some concerns raised about just how high of an upside Kilicli has to develop into. He’s a pretty damn good player already, though, so he definitely shouldn’t be discounted too fast. It will be very interesting to see how his game translates to the senior level. It seems like his rights are owned by a 2nd division team in Turkey, but we don’t expect that to last too long. He can play in the first division, and probably as soon as this season.

Comparisons to Luis Scola and Blake Griffin arent bad at all. But who knows Deniz better than his Turkish brethren. Thus I think the best and most informative rundown comes from this Turkish professional basketball website:

çeyrekte BeÅŸiktaÅŸ bulduÄŸu 24-15’lik skorla farkı 7 sayıya indirdi (47-54). Rakibinin yüksek hızda oynadığı basketbola aynı ÅŸekilde karşılık vermeye caşılan Pertevniyal, bunda baÅŸarılı olamadı, ayrıca zone pres karşısında uzunları Deniz ve Ali’ye yeteri kadar top indiremediler, indirdikleri anda da genelde hücum süresinin bitmesine 4-5 saniye kaldığı için çoÄŸunda dengesiz atışlar da bulundular. Ancak bunun yanında gerek Tunç ve Barış gibi kısaların gerekse de bu maçta takımı adına son derece kritik iÅŸlere imza atan (belki de galibiyeti getiren) Andrey ile gelen hücum ribaundları skor sıkıntısına girdikleri anda nefes almalarını saÄŸladı.

Doesnt that sound appealing? All hail Deniz, potentially your next overseas Cat…..

Article written by Matt Jones