|05 July 2012|
|Furkan Aldemir was dominant at last year's U20 European Championship, averaging 14.8 points and 15.9 rebounds. |
Bogdan Tanjevic will lead a new-look Turkey in the EuroBasket Qualification Round with the country's basketball federation announcing a preliminary squad that is missing several key players from past years.
Among those not taking part this summer are Hidayet Türkoglu, Ömer Asik, Oguz Savas, Kerem Tunçeri, Ömer Onan and Ersan Ilyasova.
Each played on the silver-medal winning Turkish side at the 2010 World Championship in Istanbul and at last year's EuroBasket, where the national team came up short of the Quarter-Finals.
Tanjevic, who has agreed to coach again this summer with Orhun Ene no longer at the helm, will have some players returning in Cenk Akyol, Sinan Guler, Emir Preldzic, Ender Arslan, Semih Erden, Izzet Türkyilmaz and Enes Kanter.
In all, there are 19 players in the preliminary squad.
"This year's qualifiers will see many young players join the team," said Turkish Basketball Federation president Turgay Demirel.
"These players were invited, as well as experienced players."
Turkey had considered hiring Ettore Messina as their coach but weren't able to work out a deal for this summer so they reached out to Tanjevic, who had served as an advisor since the 2010 World Championship.
"We thank him once more for making the sacrifice," Demirel said.
Turkey, who are number six in the FIBA World Rankings, will find it tough just to reach next year's Final Round in Slovenia.
They are in Group F with Italy, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Portugal.
While Arslan has been a key man the past few years in the backcourt, so has Guler.
Sharpshooter Serhat Cetin now gets his big chance after shining with Besiktas this year in their Turkish Cup, EuroChallenge and Beko Basketbol Ligi treble winning campaign.
Kanter showed flashes of brilliance at EuroBasket 2011 and then impressed as a rookie in the NBA with the Utah Jazz so much will be expected of him, as well as center Semih Erden, who missed last year through injury.
Furkan Aldemir, Izzet Türkyilmaz and Ilkan Karaman clearly have big futures with the national team.
Each was recently taken in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, respectively.
Turkey preliminary squad: Cenk Akyol, Dogus Balbay, Dusan Cantekin, Osman Gokhan Sirin, Sinan Guler, Ibrahim Yildirim, İzzet Türkyılmaz, Baris Hersek, Serhat Cetin, Emir Preldzic, Ender Arslan, Furkan Aldemir, H Goksenin, Koksal, Sertaç Şanlı, Can M. Mutaf, Birkan Batuk, İlkan Karaman, Semih Erden and Enes Kanter.