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Deniz Kilicli will be making his NCAA basketball debut Wednesday night against Pitt at the Coliseum.
He is the 6-foot-9, 265-pound freshman forward from Istanbul, Turkey. The youngster was suspended for the first 20 games because he played in games in his homeland in which a semi-pro also played.
But Kilicli isn’t lacking in experience. He played for Mountain State Academy in Beckley last year and averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.
He was ranked the 15th-best forward and 44th-best recruit in the nation’s 2009-2010 class by ESPN.com. He’ll give WVU size and bulk inside for the remainder of this year.
Kilicli played on under-16, 18 and 20 Turkish national teams. He had played on the Pertevniyal Istanbul Club team because Turkey high schools didn’t offer prep basketball.
He played at the World University Games last summer. The previous summer in the European Championships, he averaged 11.1 points per game. He had 27 points and 10 rebounds against Russia.
It should be interesting to see how much he is able to help the team down the stretch. Coach Bob Huggins said he can hardly wait.