Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future
Read Thad Mumau's
feature article on Conference USA basketball recruiting in
Saturday, October 30, 2004
By Thad Mumau
Old ties boost ECU in chase
for Cem Dinc
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• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
• INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
• HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
• STEVE BALLARD:
New Leader Takes Charge
• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door
• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams
• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate
East Carolina basketball fans should know: Cem Dinc is not a lock for any
suitor at the present time, and the Pirates have a realistic shot at landing
In case you’re
scanning the prospects lists for Dinc’s name, forget it. It’s not there. The
native of Turkey, who spent the last nine years in Germany, is a fairly new
arrival to the United States. He hasn’t been here even a year.
(pronounced Jim Dinch) stands 6-10 and weighs 240 pounds. He is a senior at
Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy and is currently nursing a broken ring
finger on his left hand.
“He has missed
a lot of the fall workouts because of his injury,” Brewster coach Jason
Smith said, “and we don’t know a lot about him. We do know that he is very
athletic and extremely physical.
“Cem is a
banger who doesn’t shy away from contact. In fact, he’s borderline dirty. He
has excellent footwork; that’s the main thing about him. He can step out to
16 or 17 feet and hit the jump shot. He’s a Bill Laimbeer type in that
respect — he is physical and he can shoot well from the outside.”
Dinc’s trip to
the United States and his ensuing time here make for an interesting story:
“He hopped on
a plane in June,” Smith said, “because he wanted to see how he stacked up
against American players. He went to New York City because he had heard
about the street basketball played there and figured that was a good place
to find some tough competition.
“One day, he
was walking the streets of New York City when he bumped into a man that he
knew from Germany. Sam Graham was his name, and he had played college
basketball in the U.S.
knows a couple of kids at Buffalo (University at Buffalo, the State
University of New York), and they played on the same club team with Cem in
players are sophomore Yassin Idhibi and freshman Christian Schmidt.
“So he put Cem
in his car and drove him up to Buffalo to see how he played with college
players. Later, those two kids (Idhibi and Schmidt) told the Buffalo coaches
that they should offer Cem a scholarship.”
It was assumed
(perhaps even by Buffalo coaches) Dinc accepted and made a commitment to the
Bulls, but that is not the case.
“No, it was
just a misunderstanding,” Smith said, “but he is very interested in Buffalo,
probably because that’s the program he’s the most familiar with.
“But he will
sign late. There are many, many schools recruiting him, and he needs to
evaluate them and take some time.”
Dinc made an
official visit to Buffalo over the weekend. East Carolina could also get a
visit, with Virginia Tech, UCLA, Villanova, Southern Cal, Clemson, St.
Bonaventure, Illinois, Rhode Island, Purdue and Florida in the picture as
Does ECU have
a realistic chance of landing the big guy?
absolutely,” Smith said, “and I’ll tell you why. I know Coach (Bill) Herrion
and Coach (Greg) Herenda real well. They both played at Merrimack College,
and their coach (the late Frank Monahan) was my mentor.
“We talk a
lot, and I am very aware of the program they’re at East Carolina. They are
doing a fantastic job.
“I can see Cem
using one of his visits to go to East Carolina. He’s going to look around
some. It (the decision) won’t happen any time soon.”
Dinc will be part of Brewster’s eight-man rotation that includes five
starters headed to Division I schools. They are 6-9 Chad Millard
(Louisville), 6-3 Chris Lutz (Purdue), 6-5 Harvey Perry (Washington), 6-6
Jeff Adrian (Connecticut) and 6-4 Weyinmi Efejuku (Providence).
“Cem is an
outstanding student,” Smith said. “He brings a 3.5 grade-point average from
one of the leading boarding schools in Germany, and he scored nearly 1,000
on his first try at the SAT without having an English course over here. He
took another intelligence test and made a perfect score on the non-verbal
definitely a four (power forward). He can face up and hit the jump shot. He
can also play with his back to the basket. His father, former track champion
in the 100-meter hurdles, has been training Cem in plyometrics since he was
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