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Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future

Read Thad Mumau's feature article on Conference USA basketball recruiting in Bonesville Magazine.

Hoops Recruiting Report
Saturday, October 30, 2004

By Thad Mumau

Old ties boost ECU in chase for Cem Dinc


Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• 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


Two things 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 him.

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.

Cem Dinc (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.

“Graham also 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 Germany.”

The two 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 well.

Does ECU have a realistic chance of landing the big guy?

“Oh, 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.”

Smith said 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 part.

“He is 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 14.”

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02/23/2007 02:41:59 PM

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