Even if he is not (yet) one of the big names in European basketball, the young Turk Alperen Sengun was clearly on our list of players to follow in this EuroBasket 2022. Big potential, talent in his hands, and shoulders already wide enough to weigh only 20 years, the interior of Houston has a good mouth « breakout player ». The proof through his last perfs.
He barely slept overnight from Sunday to Monday. Between Turkey’s disappointing record after three first games (one win, two losses), the criticism in his country, his three missed free throws in the money time against Georgia and especially the episode of the fight that followed, Alperen Sengun was still awake at 7am and didn’t even participate in his team’s training yesterday. But obviously, since then, the nugget of the Rockets has come back to life because Sengun has just released a big performance against Belgium on Tuesday. At the start of the afternoon, in a match that Turkey was to win, he simply enjoyed it: 24 points (10/19 in shooting, 1/2 in 3-points, 3/3 in free throws) in 31 minutes, 8 rebounds, 6 caviars, 1 against, 28 evaluation and a +/- of 27 points . That’s for numbers. Figures that are in line with his recent productions, Sengun remaining on two very attractive performances against Bulgaria (20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists at 9/10) and Georgia (21 points, 9 rebounds at 10/14) . In the last qualifying match for the 2023 World Cup against Nikola Jokic’s Serbia, he also dropped 17 points and 13 rebounds quietly. Not all bad for a 20 year old kid. After Franz Wagner’s magnificent performance against Lithuania this weekend, it is therefore another youngster who is taking advantage of the great stage of the Euro to show everyone what the future will hold.
Alperen Şengün in his last 3 games:
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) September 6, 2022
And the future looks quite bright for the Houston Rockets, who are obviously keeping a close eye on everything that is currently happening on the Old Continent. How can you not be thrilled when you see Sengun unleash Dirk Nowitzki-style one-legged fadeaways, or spin moves learned in Hakeem Olajuwon’s lab? How not to have stars in the eyes in front of the footwork and the natural talent of the boy? We already knew the potential of Sengun, who arrived in the NBA last year with the status of MVP of the Turkish league and very serious lines of comparison like Jokic and Domantas Sabonis. His first campaign in the Big League on the side of Houston (9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds on average in 21 minutes, 72 games played) also confirmed the good that we could already think of him. But his performance in this Euro could simply allow him to quickly change dimension. What he is showing there with the Turkish selection is what he could soon show on the NBA courts with the Rockets, where he should quickly become a pillar of Texas reconstruction after the departure of Christian Wood.
Alperen Sengun delights and gives us a great preview of things to come during the next NBA season. Helping the Turks to bounce back against Belgium this afternoon, the inside of Les Fusées now wants to continue to ride the wave. And we really want to surf with him.