2008 Top 16 Profile: Fenerbahce Ulker

Jan 30, 2008 by Euroleague.net Print

Fenerbahce Ulker 
Regular Season:
4th, Group C, 6-8

Team Rankings
14th points
14th ranking

Bogdan Tanjevic - Fenerbahce Ulker
Bogdan Tanjevic
A mix of young talent and experience stars had paid off so far for Fenerbahce Ulker, that finished fourth in competitive Group C with a 6-8 record. A couple of wins against Lottomatica Roma allowed Fenerbahce to finish third in a three-way tie for the fourth place. Despite opening the regular season with a two-game losing streak and finish it with three straight losses, Fenerbahce sealed its ticket to the Top 16 with three weeks to go in the regular season. The Turkish League champon managed to keep floor general Willie Solomon and he had lived up to the expectations, leading the team in scoring (17.8 ppg.) and assists (4.4 apg.). No other Fenerbahce player has averaged double digits in scoring, however, as the team has been slowed by injuries all season long. Omer Onan was the only Fenerbahce players to take part in all 14 regular season games. Coach Bogdan Tanjevic opted to ink mid and long-term propects that are already delivering and improving by facing the best Euroleague players week
Mirsad Turkcan - Fenerbahce Ulker
Mirsad Turkcan
in, week out. None seems more intriguing than Omer Asik, (7.4 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 1.4 bpg.), a mobile center with size, athleticism and coordination. Asik arrived to Fenerbahce midway through the Euroleague season and is learning fast from rebounding ace Mirsad Turkcan, the first player to pull down 1,000 boards in competition history. Turkcan (9.9 ppg., 9.3 rpg.) was the second top rebounder in the first stage and also helped young big men such as aggressive forward Gasper Vidmar (5.7 ppg., 3.2 rpg.), low post threat Oguz Savas (8.8 ppg.) or promising center Semih Erden (6.7 ppg., 4 rpg.), who will be back for the Top 16 to add depth and power. Tarence Kinsey (6.8 ppg.) and athletic forward James "Flight" White (8.8 ppg., 40% 3FG) are set to share the scoring duties with Solomon along with veteran guard Damir Kaan (6.5 ppg., 51.1% 3FG), while Fenerbahce count on a couple of defensive aces at both wings such as Onan and Rasim Basak (5.2 ppg.). If Kinsey and White keep improving and Asik keeps turning into a dominant force, Fenerbahce may upset some teams out there in the Top 16.

Fenerbahce Ulker head coach Bogdan Tanjevic: "We were in the hardest group in the regular season and it’s only good to have this group, when you compare it to the previous one. Lietuvos Rytas and Tau Ceramia have the experience of challenging at those kind of top levels. But I cannot underestimate Aris TT Bank, too. They renewed their rosters with some great talents. So it’s going to be at least as hard as the first phase. We are a young, but very good team, too. And we are ready to challenge with all those great teams."
Damir Kaan Fenerbahce Ulker guard: "There are all the best teams in the Top 16 and you can never choose an opponent, but only can wish to keep far from the candidates of the title. So if we take this draw from that point of view, I can say that it’s a good draw. At least, we had a better draw than the beginning of the season for sure. Of course, we are a good team, too. Especially when we are at home, with the support of our great fans, it’s not easy for our opponents to beat us. The second thing makes me hopeful for the future is that we are expecting our injured players back in this stage. We will be much stronger with the guys whom were out for more than couple of weeks."