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Time To Get to Know DENIZ KILICLI


Tonight’s update is short, but still yet important. I spoke with my best source at UK (“Agent RTX” lets call him) tonight and he confirmed what a few people recently have been speculating, mainly that Turkish forward Deniz Kilicli is a top option for the Cats right now. The young man has immense talent and according to my source, “he might be the second most coveted player by this staff in the 2009 class behind Daniel Orton.” Strong words indeed, but from what we have seen, maybe valid. He is currently playing this season in Beckley, WV at a prep school and his coach is giving him through-the-roof praise for his talents and abilities. Schools such as Duke, Arizona and UCONN are hot on his trail, but the Cats have the advantage of being the first major program of top-tier stature to have given him an offer. Combine that with the fact that they get the first major visit (at Midnight Madness) and things look good for the Blue and White.

We have tried to learn more about Kilicli, but as of now, very few folks have seen him play. I went exploring at the Turkish Basketball federation website and found the above picture of Kilicli, along with pictures of some of his Turkish national teammates below:

Omer Buyukaycan


Enes Kanter


Erdinc Balto


A. Furkan Eskici


As you can see, Turkish basketball is a mixed lot, with players ranging from a guy who looks like the creepy dude that lives next door to you with the big van, to a kid who borrowed his hair piece from the set of the movie “300” to a kid that seems to have just graduated third grade to a guy who rocks a look that we will just call the “A Furkan.” But Kilicli comes from this tradition, and the website lists some vital stats for him as follows:

M. Deniz Kılıçlı

DoÄŸum Tarihi: 1990
Boy: 2.06 mt
Pozisyon: Pivot
Kulübü: Pertevniyal
Millilik Sayısı: 63

Those stats essentially (with my great understanding of Turkish) suggest that he was born in 1990, is 2.06 meters tall (which according to my metric-correct number system chart makes him 8′ 11″ tall), plays the “Pivot” (which is sort of like our “Rover” position in T-ball), plays for Perteveniyal (the Columbus Blue Jackets of Turkey) and has made 63 national team appearances (would have been more, but he is creeped out by Omer Buyucaykan).

None of this means that Kilicli is or is not good. But as I have always said in college basketball recruiting, you can tell if an unknown kid is good by who is recruiting him. When the rankings fail, as they occasionally do for foreign players, look what other top coaches are impressed with his game. At this point, three of the best, Coach K, Calhoun and Lute join Gillispie in being interested in his game. That is a good sign. Midnight Madness will be a spectacle and much attention will be focused on Daniel Orton and the 2010 kids at the event. But keep an eye on the Turkish player standing in the background as well…..he could end up the one most likely to ever end up wearing the Blue and White.

More throughout the day, including our attempt to get Josh “Jorts” Harrellson to rock the “A Furkan”……

Article written by Matt Jones