Monster Night

West Virginia's basketball season gets underway with on Friday night with Mountaineer Madness, and the stars will certainly be out in force.

While many West Virginia fans in attendance will get their first in-person looks at freshmen Kevin Jones, Devin Ebanks, Darryl Bryant and juco Demetrius Proby, the sidelines will also be stacked with Mountaineers of the future, and one big recruiting target.

WVU commitments Dalton Pepper, Dan Jennings and Noah Cottrill will take in the evening's events, and will be joined by Mountain State Academy's Deniz Kilicli. That quartet, all of whom have been rated among the Top 100 players in their class, could be the highest-rated group to ever come in together on one recruiting visit. Pepper, Jennings and Cottrill will certainly be exerting all their efforts to convince Kilicli to join them as a future Mountaineer.

Cottrill, especially, is involved in that effort. He and Kilicli visited WVU's campus during the Marshall football weekend, and got an up close and personal dose of what West Virginia has to offer. WVU head basketball coach Bob Huggins is a big football fan, and he uses home football weekends to great effect for recruiting visits. Kilicli, who is being recruited by a number of schools and appears on the verge of blossoming into one of the top forwards in his class, was reportedly very impressed with the atmosphere on West Virginia's football game day.

Pepper and Jennings, both of whom, like Cottrill, are already committed to West Virginia, will also lend their weight to the talent list in attendance.

Add in the freshman class in their first public showing, and it's clear that WVU will be showcasing its finest back-to-back recruiting classes in the history of the Coliseum. Cottrill is the #12 ranked point guard in his class, while Pepper (#30 shooting guard) and Jennings (#12 center) hold down high rankings as well. Next year, they will join Ebanks (#3 small forward) Jones (#11 power forward), and Bryant (#26 point guard) as arguably the highest ranking two-year span of recruits in Mountaineer history.

Kilicli, who recently came to the U.S from Turkey to further his basketball prospects, is playing this year alongside Cottrill at Mountain State Academy. He is more physical than the average European big man, and plays with strength in the lane and around the rim. He also has a solid midrange game, and will quickly rise up the 2009 rankings once talent evaluators get a look at him in action.

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories