2024 Draft Watch: Evaluating Berke Buyuktuncel in the Turkey-Hungary U19 World Cup Game

September 15th, 2023

By Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to watch UCLA’s 6-9 forward, Berke Buyuktuncel play in a June 27th, FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup game against Hungary, with thanks to YouTube via FIBA – The Basketball Channel.  Buyuktuncel is a skilled forward that has played well in professional basketball in Turkey, and he’s also drawn some draft buzz for the upcoming season.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

UCLA’s 6-9 forward, Berke Buyuktuncel (on the right) is a skilled, versatile player that could make an immediate impact in college basketball this season, and he is currently a second round prospect for the 2024 NBA Draft.
(Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, via Los Angeles Times)

Berke Buyuktuncel had a solid showing to help lead Turkey to a double-digit win over Hungary.  He is a strong, skilled big man that has above average athletic gifts, and he showed off versatile scoring skills to help his team get the win.  He also passed the ball well consistently when he was on the floor.

Buyuktuncel is a crafty player that can use off-ball movement to score.  He was able to slip past a defender to get the ball, and he then drove towards the hoop to score and get an extra free throw once.  He also can ably score off the dribble as well as out of the post.  He showed a knack for being able to draw fouls to get to the free throw line.

Early on, he showed good shooting touch, as he was able to make a quick, open spot-up three on the break.  On the downside, he missed a couple of open corner threes later on, as he was a bit streaky with his outside shot.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Buyuktuncel is a good passer that will consistently find the open man due to possessing solid passing skills and court vision.  When he would have the ball in the high post, he would whip a crosscourt pass to find an open shooter on the other side of the floor.  He also drove quickly up the floor and accelerated to make a drop off pass to set up a score for a teammate in transition.  Buyuktuncel generally passed the ball well in this game.  On one play though, he attempted to drive towards the baseline, but wound up stepping out of bounds instead.

Also, Buyuktuncel showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass, as he was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to push the pace off of a defensive rebound once.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Buyuktuncel is a high-motor player that will play passing lanes.  He was able to jump a pass to get a steal.  He also managed to contest a corner three to force a miss.  However, he had trouble guarding quicker players out on the perimeter, which would lead him to get blown by when defending them, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he struggled to defend an opponent off the dribble, which led him to commit a foul.

Overall, Berke Buyuktuncel played very well to help lead Turkey to a win over Hungary.  He is a very skilled combo forward that can shoot and pass the basketball, and he was a very good get for UCLA.  He will likely be an impact player for them ithis season.  While he may not have overwhelming athleticism, his solid offensive skills combined with his feel for the game could enable him to be a solid find for an NBA team in the 2024 draft.

Other Notes:

Besiktas’ 6-6 swingman, Kerem Konan played well for Turkey to help his team get the win in this game. He is an athletic player that excelled at making aggressive plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, and he also was able to throw down a strong dunk off the dribble to give his team a boost.

Konan did a very good job of attacking the hoop to score the basketball. He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He was able to quickly jump a pass to get a steal, and he then pushed the ball up floor and utilized a crafty Euro-step move to score once. He also was able to utilize a nice pump fake off of a cut to score and draw an extra free throw.

His best highlight of the game was when he drove hard to his left to throw down a thunderous, two-handed dunk in traffic. He didn’t take many outside shots, but he struggled to knock down jumpers from further out.

Also, he showed off fairly average playmaking skills. Konan is an unselfish player that will swing the ball to make the extra pass, and he also can handle the basketball. He did commit one turnover though, as he tried to throw a crosscourt pass once, but it got intercepted. In addition, he was unable to grab a rebound in this game.

Konan also defended very well in this game. He showed a knack for rotating to poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections, and he also quickly jumped a pass to get another steal. He also would contest shots off the dribble to force some misses. On one play though, he gambled for a steal but missed on an attempt to poke a ball away, which led him to lose track of his man off of a cut, and his opponent later scored on a mid-range floater.

Overall, Kerem Konan played well in his team’s double-digit win over Hungary, and he is an athletic swingman that may be a very underrated prospect for the NBA. He’ll still need to improve his jump shot, but his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor combined with having solid athletic gifts could enable him to excel as a solid role player in the NBA someday.

Robert Sagodi is a 6-0 Hungarian point guard that was able to throw down a very impressive, high-flying dunk in traffic after quickly jumping a pass to get a steal in this game. He is an unselfish playmaker that can make passes off the dribble, and he is a high-motor player that will make hustle plays. On the downside, he didn’t shoot the ball well and was a bit turnover prone, but he is an athletic point guard that was one of the most athletic players in this game, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Murcia’s forward, Hamza Mestoglu also played well to help lift Turkey to a win over Hungary. He did a great job of knocking down open spot-up threes off the catch, especially from the corners, and he shot the ball very well. He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, and he was able to score out of the post as well as off the dribble. Plus, he also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.

On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone, as he was inaccurate with his passes and would be sometimes careless when handling the basketball. Overall, Mestoglu did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he is a strong, mobile forward that could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

Utah’s 6-7 forward, Karahan Efeoglu also had a solid showing to help Turkey get the win over Hungary in this game. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he played very well on both ends of the floor. He did a good job of making open, spot-up threes and scoring on strong drives to the hoop. He also was able to score on a quick, backdoor cut, as he showed good balance, coordination, and shooting touch to do so.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. Efeoglu defended well, as he would play passing lanes and was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal. He also would contest threes to force misses. Overall, Efeoglu is a strong, mobile forward that played very well in this game, and he is a skilled, high-motor player that could project well into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

6-4 Hungarian guard, Peter Csataljay played very well in his team’s loss to Turkey. He is an aggressive scorer that would often make strong moves off the dribble to score and get free throws, and he would frequently get to the free throw line. He also was able to run quickly off of a ball screen to make a quick three-pointer.

Overall, he is an agile, shot-making combo guard that can create shots for himself and others. He will need to show that he can reliably run the point and defend upper-echelon opponents at higher levels, but his ability to score combined with having above average athletic gifts may make him a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

6-8 Hungarian forward, Kornel Csuti also played well in his team’s loss to Turkey. He showed off versatile scoring skills, passed the ball well, and he also was an active and willing rebounder in this game.

Csuti showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch. He also used a crafty pump fake after rolling to the rim to score another time. Plus, he did a good job of throwing timely passes to find cutters to notch assists due to possessing solid court vision. Overall, Csuti is a skilled combo forward that could be a prospect to watch in the future.

6-3 Hungarian guard, Botond Cseh also had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Turkey. He did a very good job of scoring the basketball, as he especially excelled at getting to the free throw line, and he also showed some solid defensive skills when he was on the court.

Cseh is a really aggressive scorer that would attack the basket to do so. He would often draw free throws on quick backdoor cuts and strong drives to the hoop, and he also was able to run the floor to score on a fast break.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can throw accurate passes off the dribble. But on one play, he telegraphed a pass that got intercepted. Plus, Cseh also showed off some solid defensive skills. He was able to hustle back to a block shot in transition. He also was able to rotate to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly get a steal another time.

Overall, Cseh is an agile, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball, but he will need to improve his jump shot in the meantime. Still, his ability to make shots combined with having above average athletic gifts could make him a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

Pacific’s 6-4 freshman guard, Tan Yildizoglu played well in Turkey’s win over Hungary in this game. Yildizoglu is a pass-first, table-setting point guard that was able to rack up assists throughout this contest. He showed a knack for throwing sharp interior passes to find open teammates on the move, and he would often throw accurate passes that would allow him to notch a wealth of assists.

While he didn’t look to score very often, he was able to pull up to make a three-pointer from well beyond the arc once. He also would drive hard to the basket to draw fouls upon his defenders. Plus, he also would crash the glass to get rebounds, and he was able to save a ball to a teammate to help his team get an offensive board.

Overall, Yildizoglu is a smart, skilled point guard that sees the floor well, and he has good court vision that allows him to rack up assists when he is on the floor. While he doesn’t have overwhelming athleticism, his playmaking skills, motor, and feel for the game could enable him to be a solid college basketball player, and he was a very good get for Pacific. He could be an impact player for them right away, and he could be a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

Tofas SC’s 6-1 point guard, Ozgur Cengiz also played well to help Turkey get the win over Hungary. He quietly had a solid all-around performance, and he was able to play well on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory.

Cengiz did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop, and he also showed a knack for making off-balanced shots. He was able to score on a quick, off-balanced three-pointer, and he showed a good shooting touch in this game. He also almost scored on a quick cut, but it was waved off because by then it was the end of the first quarter.

He also passed and handled the ball well. Cengiz is an unselfish player that showed off good passing skills, and he would make an assortment of passes to notch assists. He can find teammates on the move, and he is an agile, skilled playmaker that has good court vision.

Plus, he also defended well. Cengiz would get his hands on passes to help his team get steals and deflections. Overall, Cengiz is smart, skilled point guard that makes good decisions with the basketball, and he is a pass-first point guard that can rack up assists. Though he doesn’t possess overwhelming athleticism, his solid offensive skills could enable him to compete for an NBA roster spot sometime down the road.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Berke Buyuktuncel and other top performers fared in this game. Thanks for reading.

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