Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Perhaps, this was not the big move that Anadolu Efes fans expected from their club. However, the defending EuroLeague champions bolstered their frontcourt with Egemen Guven from Frutti Extra Bursaspor.

Egemen Guven

Egemen  Guven
Team: Frutti Extra Bursa
Position: C
Age: 25
Height: 213 cm
Weight: 100 kg
Birth place: Izmir, Turkey

25-year-old 2.13 center signed a 1.5-year-long contract and as a part of the agreement, Tolga Gecim joined Bursaspor from Efes.

From our first impressions, we have given a brief account of what this new addition would or would not bring to Efes. 

Who is Egemen Guven?

Being one of the bright prospects of the Karsiyaka youth system, it did not take long for Guven to make his name as a promising big man within the junior national teams. 

After winning the U16 European championships with fellow players Berk Ugurlu, Okben Ulubay, Tolga Gecim, Guven was crowned the tournament MVP and the star center of the U18 team, who went on to win the continental title two years later. 

Thanks to his strong frame and considerable fluidity, Guven received a lot of attention from the local and international scouts. However, this potential was never fulfilled as no move was facilitated that could elevate his career. 

He remained in his hometown, Izmir, and played for Karsiyaka for 6 seasons and in the meantime, played for the Turkish Cup-winning team in 2014. In addition, Guven gained experience in both the Basketball Champions League and the Turkish League with not only good seasons in Karsiyaka but also Turk Telekom and Afyon Belediyespor. 

How was Guven doing until now this season? 

Guven has had a successful season so far, averaging a combined 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in EuroCup and BSL. However, this is a lower average than last season, in which Guven created sparks in Afyon Belediyesi with 10.7 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Despite this lowered average, we saw Guven's on-court minutes skyrocket as the highest recorded time in his career thus far.  

Egemen Guven

Egemen  Guven
Egemen  Guven
MIN: 18.57
PTS: 8.71 (66.04%)
REB: 4.29
As: 1
ST: 0.43
BL: 0.14
TO: 0.71
GM: 7

Guven was also playing for significantly larger periods of time not only in the Turkish League but also in EuroCup (18:58 minutes per game) with a career-best 1.24 points per possession. He was also 66% from the field, another career-best figure. 

However, Dusan Alimpijevic's team struggled in the EuroCup as Frutti Extra Bursaspor won only 3 games out of 8 so far. Guven made a remarkable farewell to his former club, scoring career-best 18 points with 8-10 shooting from two-pointers. 

What does Guven offer for Efes? 

It's been often vocalized that Efes are in need of some big man support from the beginning of the season.

Sertac Sanlı's departure undoubtedly left a void in the team, which is yet to be filled despite Filip Petrusev's addition. Efes has struggled with rebounds and defending the rim with limited options at 4 and 5 positions.

In many respects, Guven shares some common points with Petrusev's playing style, while the Turkish forward is much more experienced. He has a good feel and soft touch near the rim, which certainly allows the offense some comfort. 

Guven does not try to exert his energy and strength in the paint. Instead, he occasionally uses floaters, which add some diversity to the offense.

His mid-range game enabled by short rolls and flash cuts is also worth considering. He does not have the three-ball, but this season, he shoots 30/55 from short-mid and long-mid jumpers. Some good news for Tibor Pleiss to catch a breath for those long twos. 

Whilst in defense, he usually follows the screens from under or drops in the given priority to cover the floater zone.

Applying pressure to the ball in the ball screens to disrupt the passing or dribbling action was a problem for Efes in the former half of the season. It is hard to say whether we should expect anything different from him as the season continues. 

As mentioned above, Efes have continued to have issues handling rebounds, particularly concerning the offensive boards. 

It is strange for a team with Adrien Moerman, Chris Singleton, and Bryant Dunston in the rotation to struggle in offensive rebounds, but Egemen Guven can definitely improve this pattern. Against Efes, he grabbed 5 offensive boards to outclass Petrusev in this respect. 

In summary, it appears that this was a good move for all sides. Gecim was struggling to find minutes in the EuroLeague with only limited time in BSL, therefore Guven's introduction into the big rotation makes more sense.

Guven can also provide some resting time for the primary bigs like Dunston-Moerman-Singleton-Pleiss in the domestic competition to let them be fresher for the EuroLeague.

It remains to be seen whether Guven's addition would make defense and defensive rebounding any better, but when it comes to offense, he has some good ammunition for facing up to the rim, if not posting up as a strong habit. The latter part is also a fitting feature for Efes' stretched offensive spacing.



Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website

3-pointers this season

Points made: 9,4
Accuracy: 35,6%
Place in standings: 3
Record max: 13
Record min: 6
Most made 3FGs: Vasilije Micic