Who is Enes Kanter, and What Does He Mean to the Huskies? Video too!

Enes Kanter copy
Thanks to everyone who emailed, commented, texted or called to let me know about the report that Enes Kanter had given a verbal commitment to play for the Huskies in 2010. /

I’ve actually wondered for a while what might happen if some big Husky news happened while I was indisposed, and got my answer today. You are all awesome, and I appreciate all the heads-up.

Kanter indeed has, according to several reports and quotes from his coach, given his verbal to the Huskies. This is amazing news. Here’s what we’ve got on Kanter:

Vital stats:

  • Kanter was born in Switzerland, but is of Turkish descent.
  • He’s about 6’10, 245 lbs., and 17 years-old.
  • He’s currently playing for Stoneridge Prep, and played with Turkish professional team Fenerbahçe Ülker before that, however he did not accept payment for playing.
  • ESPN calls him the #9 center in the 2010 class, and Scout.com projects him as the #7 center.
  • Purely based on his skill, size and age (not anything Enes has actually said), Kanter is considered a candidate to be a “one-and-done” player by the two most authoritative sites on the matter, NBADraftnet and DraftExpress.
  • Kanter dominated the under-18 European Championships, averaging 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds per game.

Scouting report (courtesy ESPN/Scouts, Inc.):

I’ve never seen Kanter play, but here’s the most thorough scouting report I’ve read:

"Kanter is a fundamentally sound basketball player with a high basketball IQ. Enes scores the basketball all over the floor and is an efficient player in the post. When in the post, Enes is patient and reads what the defense is giving him. He does a great job of establishing deep post position and loves to create contact with his opponent. Enes uses a drop step or step through move in the post, as well as, two dribble drop baseline moves from both sides of the floor. He is always on two feet when going to finish and keeps the ball chinned while completing his moves in the post. Enes finishes his lay-ups above the rim; occasionally, he will dunk. Enes is comfortable knocking down the three-point shot as the trail post or picking and popping in the half court offense. He will rebound the basketball at its highest point and goes outside of his body to grab a number of rebounds. His physical traits plus his feel for the game will allow him to be an excellent player at the high major level."

What this means for the Huskies:

After losing out on Josh Smith, and not getting Terrence Jones in the early signing period, this is huge for the Dawgs.

Kanter is ranked nearly as high as Smith is by many of the scouts that follow high school hoops closely. The big thing I’m reading that Kanter may have above Smith is his versatility, and ability to face up to the basket. For all we know, Kanter could be a better fit than Smith for the Huskies.

There is a chance, depending on a forthcoming ruling from the NCAA, that Kanter would be ineligible for a number of games next season.

This puts the Huskies in a great position for next season, as their perceived weakness from this year will be much addressed. Assuming Tyreese Breshers continues to show the same level of promise, he, MBA, Gant and Kanter could be a force in the post in 2010/2011. Add that to another year of Isaiah, Abdul and Venoy in the backcourt, and a combo of J-Hol, Elston, Desmond Simmons, C.J., and Scott Suggs should be (at least) serviceable on the wing.

What this means for Terrence Jones:

This makes the Huskies pursuit of Terrence Jones more interesting, as it projects to leave them without room for him. If no one leaves the team before then, the Huskies will return 11 scholarship players next year. With the addition of Simmons and Kanter, they’ll be at the maximum of 13 scholarships. If Jones signs with Huskies, something will have to give. A few possibilities:

  • Sad as it would make me, Isaiah Thomas could wind up leaving for the NBA.
  • Someone could choose to (or be asked to) transfer.
  • A player could choose to (or be asked to) pay his own way.

Anyhow, this is the special “Romar Math,” that people talk about, and things ultimately seem to work out, so I’m going to continue to view the concept of landing Terrence Jones as a 100% good thing.

Extra reading:

The Zagsblog story on the signing with plenty of praise for Kanter.

Here’s Percy Allen’s article on the signing for the Times.

An ESPN profile of Kanter, called “Meet Enes Kanter,” focusing on his Euroleague debut.

Another ESPN article from today about Kanter’s impressive performance at the Impact Basketball Academy Classic.

Video clips of Kanter:

Thanks for coming!