There’s a small chance Enes Kanter, the Turkish standout who gave a verbal commitment to play at Washington several months ago, won’t sign with the Huskies, according to his basketball coach.
And if Kanter signs, there’s the strong likelihood the NCAA will penalize him for playing on a professional European team.
The 17-year-old Kanter, a 6-foot-9 post player at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., is regarded as the top basketball prospect in Turkey.
It’s been rumored several schools are still actively recruiting Kanter and last week a college coach familiar with Kanter said: “The Huskies will need to hold his hand until he signs.”
When asked if other schools were still recruiting Kanter, Derryck Thornton, the first-year Stoneridge Prep coach said: “I would.”
Even though NBA scouts have been spotted at Stoneridge games, Thornton said Kanter doesn’t plan to enter the draft this year and is going to college next season.
Thornton said the odds Kanter will sign with the Huskies are “95 percent.”
“I’m not saying that he won’t,” Thornton said. “I just haven’t heard from them (the Huskies). I know he likes Washington. Maybe I’m confused. They could be calling him directly or calling his parents. I don’t know. They had a relationship with the kid before I entered the picture. So maybe that’s it. But I haven’t seen them or heard from them. (Kanter) doesn’t seem to be worried about it.”
Thornton said it’s been nearly a month since he’s talked to anybody from Washington.
He said Kanter, who played overseas last year, has exceeded his expectations this season. Last week, Kanter scored 50 points against a Las Vegas team and Thornton said he’s grown to nearly 6-11.
“He’s better right now than anybody in the Pac-10,” Thornton said.
Before Kanter committed to UW, he was recruited by UNLV and several Pac-10 schools, including UCLA.
Even if he signs with the Huskies – the regular signing period is April 14-May 19 – the NCAA will likely take a long look at Kanter’s history.
He said he did not accept pay or sign or contract, however, he played in the Turkish Basketball League and the Euroleague with players who were paid.
“He may get hit for something,” Thornton said. “I feel bad for the kid. This kid lived in Turkey. What was he supposed to do, play for the Y? He couldn’t. That’s what they do. If you’re good, you play. If you’re a 15-year-old kid, 6-8 and good, in Austria, Turkey or anywhere else in the world, you play where they tell you. You don’t know the NCAA rules. I just don’t think it’s fair. It’s not fair the NCAA can punish a kid for doing something three years ago while they were living 10,000 miles away.”
The NCAA benched West Virginia freshman Deniz Kilicli for 20 games because he played on a Turkish team during the 2007-08 season that included a professional player.
Kilicli is expected to make his debut Wednesday when the sixth-ranked Mountaineers host No. 22 Pittsburgh.
In an interview last year, Kilicli commented on Kanter. He said: “We email a lot. I think he’s going to be a good, good player. He’s now 6-9, something like that. He needs shoot a little bit more. He’s in good shape. I think he’s going to be a very, very good player. And he’s dominating every age group. And he’s going to be a superb player.”
MORE RECRUITING NEWS:
— Desmond Simmons, who signed with UW, has led Salesian High in Richmond, Calif. to an 18-1 record. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 10.4 rebounds. Simmons has a season high 27 points and a season low 10. He’s scored at least 20 points in 10 games.
AROUND THE PAC-10:
— Arizona senior guard Nic Wise was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, after guiding the Wildcats to a pair of wins over Cal and Stanford.
— Still no Pac-10 team ranked among the top 25 in the national polls.
— USC coach Kevin O’Neill delivered on his promise to fire Stan Holt, the third-year student manager, who drew a technical foul late in the Trojans loss at Oregon.
— ESPN’s bracket guru Joe Lunardi has two Pac-10 schools (No. 8 seed California and No. 12 seed Arizona) in the NCAA tourney.
— According to UW: “The jersey was worn by Harry the Husky during the Black Out Cancer game this past Saturday when the Huskies defeated the Cougars 92-64 is now up for auction. The No. 0 jersey will be autographed by the entire 2009-10 Husky Men’s Basketball team with a gold Sharpee. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.” The latest bid is $405.
All for now.
February 1, 2010 at 3:21 PM
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