In the span of about four minutes, Deniz Kilicli might have become my favorite player in college basketball. Bob Huggins stuck the 6-9 freshman from Turkey into the game when it looked like West Virginia needed an injection of toughness against Washington, and the kid delivered.
“Who is that dude?” was the chorus around my apartment as soon as Kilicli — we’ve taken to just calling him “Klitschko” since then — checked in. “He looks like the mascot. He’s the Mountaineer!” was also overheard. He immediately proceeded to run around like an insane man, throwing elbows, getting a couple buckets inside and seemingly trying to defend all five Huskies at once. Great strategy by Huggins to bring in the goon; Washington big man Matthew Bryan-Amaning is kind of soft if you ask me, and Klitschko is downright scary. At halftime, UW is still up two.
* Meanwhile, Syracuse has rallied and just took the lead after a three by Wesley Johnson.
* UW’s Quincy Pondexter sat down for about 10 minutes after picking up two quick fouls, came back in, and 30 seconds later picked up his third foul. The Huskies were winning at the time, so Lorenzo Romar didn’t even have to put him back in.
* Should I tell my Dad that if he says “Q-Pon” one more time I’m gonna throw something at him? I feel like he should at least get a warning.
* UW’s Justin Holiday, big brother of Jrue Holiday hit a three and went back down the court doing the Junior Birdman followed by a salute. That was the weirdest celebration I’ve seen all year. Holiday has four steals in the first half.