A lot is being made of Enes Kanter’s 34 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes during the 2010 Nike Summit Hoop performance but here are a few other thoughts to bear in mind:
- Enes Kanter is 6-11, 290lbs with a 7-1 wingspan. He has very good size and excellent strength for a center. He also has solid mobility but lacks explosiveness.
- Team USA had only one legitimate sized center on it’s roster and he barely played.
- Jared Sullinger — an undersized PF with deficient defensive skills and so-so athleticism — was tasked with matching up with Kanter most of the time. This created obvious mismatch (huge size advantage for Kanter) that Kanter could easily exploit.
- Team USA’s coach forced his team to play zone defense as he has done for the last few years. This created numerous offensive rebounding opportunities for Kanter to exploit and exploit them he did. Kanter pulled down 8 offensive boards in just 24 minutes and scored numerous easy putbacks (no shot-blockers, undersized PF best big).
USA Team Roster
Pay attention to the lack of centers and how little playing time the only legitimate center on the roster received. This gifted Enes Kanter a huge matchup advantage.
USA JUNIOR NATIONAL SELECT TEAM
Kyrie Irving (6ft 2in; St Patrick HS; Elizabeth, New Jersey)
Brandon Knight (6ft 3in; Pine Crest HS; Coral Springs, Florida)
Kendall Marshall (6ft 4in; Bishop O’Connell HS; Arlington, Virginia)
Will Barton (6ft 6in; Brewster Academy; Baltimore, Maryland)
Reggie Bullock (6ft 6in; Kinston HS, Kinston, North Carolina)
Harrison Barnes (6ft 8in; Ames HS; Ames, Iowa)
Tobias Harris (6ft 8in; Hal Hollow Hills West HS; Brookville, New York)
Terrence Jones (6ft 8in; Jefferson HS; Portland, Oregon)
Patrick Young (6ft 8in; Providence HS; Jacksonville, Florida)
Jared Sullinger (6ft 9in; Northland HS; Columbus, Ohio)
Meyers Leonard (7ft 0in; Robinson HS; Robinson, Illinois)
First Link – box score
Second Link – The Painted Area has an excellent run-down on this game.
Some Game Footage
Additional Thoughts After Viewing Footage
- Enes Kanter lacks explosive quickness and leaping ability.
- It will be much more difficult for Kanter to create separation once matched against players his own size. Will lead to a lot of highly contested shots which will lead to lower shooting percentages for Kanter.
- Does not look like he will develop into a 20ppg interior scorer. More mid-teens.
- Kanter has poor defensive fundamentals and awareness
- His aggressiveness on the boards is very impressive. Especially the offensive glass.
- Looks like he’ll struggle defensively + with his scoring efficiency as he initially enters the NBA.
Okay, so to round things up, I just wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the warning signs in this game. Kanter has received a lot of plaudits for his huge performance but as we can easily see there are unusual circumstances here (the mismatch against Sullinger + zone defense) which helped Kanter greatly.
We do not have a lot of information to judge Kanter on. He didn’t play at all last season at Kentucky and doesn’t have much experience in Europe either. So with one performance meaning so much to his draft chances, it was worth checking it out and seeing what little gleams of information we could find.