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Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2008: Turkey

April 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Turkey came to Mannheim with a baggage full of confidence and a mixture of very talented players. The main man to scout for me was of course 1992 born Enes Kanter who has dominated the U16 Türk Telekom Tournament a few weeks before. But it was not only him that came up with interesting performances.

Enes Kanter (2m04 – Center – Turkey)

The big man in the middle for Turkey was the only 15 year old Enes Kanter. Of course, the age discussions came up but you could see in his plays but also in his look that this kid should not be a passport issue. However, it was quite surprising the physical level reached by a kid of this age. And as he is only 15 years old, it is hard to predict the future of Enes Kanter’s basketball career.

While he displays a huge presence in this age category, this dominance is essentially the result of his physical presence, athleticism and hard work on rebounding. He may have showed some kind of back to the basket game, his game remains essentially on good positioning and offensive rebounds. He rarely showed a good jump shot out of the game or some kind of face to the basket drive.

However, he shows the necessary intrigue to be considered as one of the top European prospects of his age category. He has already some kind of turn around jump shot which he likes to use, even if the accuracy is not yet fully there. What is interesting is his ability to hold the ball very high and not getting the ball away to shorter guys that try to teal the ball. He grabs the offensive rebound very high and directly puts it back with two hands.

Kanter also has surprising athleticism as he does not look like a big athlete. He showed some very powerful dunks where he also used his large hands to grab the ball like an orange and throw it down with power through the net. What should also be mentioned is his very good FT shooting percentages at 16/21. So the ability to develop a jump shot with high percentages should be there as he struggles still in this area (37/71 from 2).

Kanter is already a huge rebounder, he grabbed 10.9 per game in just 21 minutes where he also went for 1.9 blocks. Still he can not be considered as a huge defender right now as his lateral speed is limited, also probably because of his large body. His running style reminds me a bit of Milan Macvan who dominated the tournament two years ago being younger than anybody too. For both players, the question remains if they have any kind of NBA potential as they may probably remain handicapped by their size to play inside. Still, Kanter is only born in 1992 and he may gain a few centimeters in the next years. He is definitely a player to watch and got awarded with the Burkhard-Wildermuth Award for the most talented player of the tournament.

Deniz Kiliçli (2m04 – Power Forward – Turkey)

Here we have the typical specimen of the Turkish youth player, looking like a man among children. Kiliçli displayed a well developed body for an 18 year old, being physically and athletically a beast for this level. But it was not only a physical presence as he showed also some interesting basketball skills.

With his trademark move, the left handed running hook shot facing the basket and executed at a good height was nearly unstoppable if he could go for it. He works all of his moves with the left hand, except the jump shot. But his game is not all based on that option. He likes to drive, either face to the basket or with the back and finish every move strong with a dunk.

In the first game of the tournament he came up with an extremely surprising move where he went baseline and dunked with one hand backwards over the defense; a move rarely seen on this level. He has however a tendency to do too much when gets into confidence. He forces several moves at times, but he even manages to score on most of them because of his superior physical presence.

The question for him is what can we expect more in the future. An absolutely awful FT shooter (8/24 over the tournament) and with no shooting skills at all; Kiliçli must develop this part of his game to become a serious player in the next years. The soft touch he shows with his left hand and the very rough shoot with his right hand is a combination that with a lot of work can end up in an ambidextrous forward. However, the attitude shown on court does not look like him being ready to go for hard working in practice. He is also not the big rebounder he should be for his presence, this can however be explained by the strong presence of Kanter with him in the paint.

Melih Mahmutoglu (1m92 – Shooting Guard – Turkey)

Mahmutoglu played some kind of combo guard for the Turkish team. He was the only reliable outside scoring source with 17ppg and a 24/61 shooting effort from behind the arc. But besides the shooting, there was not much to come from him.

He has interesting range combined with perfect shooting mechanics. He can hit the three ball from everywhere around the arc with ease but he is not forcing his shot. During the Final, he even refused a totally open shot in the beginning of the setup to pass it to one of his team mates despite being at several straight hits.

He is mostly hanging around the three point line but he can also go for the drive which he mostly finishes with a mid range jumper out of the dribble or with some kind of running jumpshot. On the other hand, Mahmutoglu displays any kind of emotions on the court, just like executing his job without caring what’s happening. This can be considered as an advantage for him, as he looks really focused however.

All pictures are from the official website of the tournament

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephan // Apr 2, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Deniz Kiliçli

    Hi, Christophe, please let me express my serious doubts about the age of this player. I understand that people of Southern European countries tend to look older and more mature, but this guy had so well-defined muscles and moves … uncredible … do not get me (or by this way any other reader) wrong, but the doubts maintain.



  • 2 NBA Draft 2011: the Euro-Review // Jun 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    […] you can assume that it was the right choice. I remember him from the first time I saw him at the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament back in 2008 where he dominated already as a 15 year old. Since then, he crashed anyone in Youth Competitions […]

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