If you are a regular reader of BallinEurope you might have come across Kerem. Kerem has been with us since we started and provides us with alot of interesting news from Turkey. So what is easier than to ask a Turkish basketball expert about Fenerbahce? This is what Kerem thinks about their performance in the Top8:
The quarter final match-up between Siena and Fenerbahce will be very interesting from many points of view. It will be a clash of old college buddies as the fiery leader of Fenerbahce, the king himself Willie Solomon battles it out with his old college buddy, sharpshooting Terrell McIntyre.
The Clemson Alumni members will have to battle it out in what seems to be a clash of styles for Siena and Fenerbahce. With the addition of Tarrence Kinsey and Omer Asık during the mid-season, both two promising talented youngsters, Fenerbahce have raised their game and have beaten big European household names, recently Tau Ceremica of Spain. The Slovenian duo of Przeldic and Vidmar has been criticized by fans and experts ever since the beginning of the season, also coach Tanjevic for relying on them during critical games; but right now they have seemed to have adjusted to the Turkish fans and basketball, both contributing well to the team’s major late success. One other name who has to be mentioned for the Turkish side is Omer Asık. The 21 year-old, 7-footer block monster, who has BROKEN THE TOP 16 BLOCK RECORD IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON, has been phenomenal for Fenerbahce from the first day of his arrival. He will be a key match-up problem for Siena, especially getting Stonerook and Lavrinovic in foul trouble, who both are integral in Siena’s ‘small ball’ system. Tarrence Kinsey and Solomon will have the advantage the guard department, in my opinion, as both need no intro on the European stage.
The Turkish towers Oguz Savas and Semih Erden are a big presence in the paint and when you add Omer Asık to that equation, it’s a nightmare for opponents to step into the painted area. I would recommend that they pack their aspirin with them if they choose to step over to that designated area. Remember that Damir Mrsic, the 37 year old 3 point specialist, never gets tired of shooting from behind the arc, so look out for quick but painful daggers from him during a fast paced game in Italy. My biggest disappointment so far this season has been James White. I expect him to explode against Siena both on the offensive and the defensive ends, and help Fenerbahce reach the Semis.
Omer Onan, who tends to get in foul trouble early during Euroleague games is also an important perimeter defender for the team, he has to be ready locking up either Thornton or Ilievski. I believe this team is ready for the Semis, but in order for that to happen, Coach Bogdan Tanjevic has to distribute the playing time amongst the youngsters very wisely, keeping them motivated throughout the series; as his experience will be relied on many times during the games.
Prediction: 2-1 Fenerbahce!