The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

WVU Sports

January 15, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN: Kilicli different breed for WVU

MORGANTOWN — The problem with society in this day and age is that we take everything too seriously.

Certainly there are problems that face our society that are not laughing matters, but the world of sports is surely not one of them. That is our escape, our way of releasing our emotions and having a good time.

That is why, in what was a rather impressive victory by West Virginia University over Rutgers on Saturday, an 84-60 thumping, it is all right to find a moment of humor and, as always, the humor was brought to us by the greatest Turkish import since the bath, Deniz Kilicli.

Kilicli is one of those people who do nothing in a normal manner.

He is just one of a kind, a different breed.

He shoots the basketball left-handed, except at the free-throw line, where he shoots right-handed.

He came to America and learned to speak English himself.

Guitar? Self-taught, and pretty darn good at it, too.

But here’s a bit of advice for Deniz Kilicli:

Leave the fast breaks to the guards.

In midst of this manhandling of a not-quite-ready-for-primetime Rutgers team, the basketball found its way into Kilicli’s hands at the start of a fast-break situation.

Kilicli leading a fast break is like having Mike Tyson in a sewing bee or Bill Kirelawich in a singing contest.

It’s a no-no.

Oh, Kilicli acted like he was right at home, dribbling down the court as he took bouncing strides that covered far more ground than any fast-break leader ever covered before. He was prancing like one of those gazelles in a National Geographic feature about the plains of Africa.

Somewhere near the half-court line, Kilicli realized that he really isn’t supposed to be leading fast breaks, and he caught a black uniform traveling down the court to his right.

He was going to make the pass, but this would be a pass to remember, for he tried to go with the no-look pass that he’d seen so many nifty guards make on television.

When last seen, he was looking to his right, the man he was passing too was to his left and the ball … well, it was floating off to nowhere, Kilicli bailed out only by the fact that he was fouled as he made the pass.

It was in truth, a rather hysterical moment in the history of Coliseum basketball, coming as it did before a reunion of former basketball players who returned for a party and to watch John Flowers once again do ”The Dougie” as he took a break during the Japanese All-Star Break.

There never was an explanation of what transpired from Kilicli, but it’s safe to assume that he would offer a similar explanation to the no-look pass he tried to pull off down in Charleston earlier this year against Morehead Stadium.

“That was the Tragic Johnson coming out in me,” he said then.

What made this intriguing enough to draw attention to it is that it came in a game where the Mountaineers pulled off a textbook fast break as part of their arsenal. This fast break was run the way it should be run.

Guard Gary Browne made a steal and Kevin Jones took off flying down the floor. Browne spotted him ahead of the field, made a classic bounce past that Jones caught in mid-stride, taking another step for skying toward the banners hung high in the Coliseum and ending it with a thunderous slam dunk.

That was part of 24 Jones points in yet another double-double, his 13th in 18 games, as he continues to intimidate the Big East.

“I know I put in the extra work to have these kind of games,” Jones said. “I’m not surprised by it.”

Neither is coach Bob Huggins, who says Jones is the best player in the Big East to date, a statement that no rationally thinking human being would contradict.

As for Kilicli, he has not yet reached the point where he is the best player in the Big East, but if you want to say that watching him play is more entertaining than watching any other player, rest assured you are not wrong.

Put him together with Jones and Truck Bryant and you the heart and soul of this Mountaineer team.

“They manhandled us,” Rutgers coach Mike Rice said of the threesome.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos