Kilicli, who goes by Deniz Kilicli, is a 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward and is currently in his senior year at Mountain State Academy in Beckley, W.Va. His team is 2-1 on the season under Coach Rob Fulford. This past summer, Kilicli moved to Beckley from his hometown of Istanbul, Turkey, where he attended Yildizlar School.
He is ranked as the 15th-best power forward and the 44th-best recruit in the 2009 class by ESPN.com. Kilicli played for the Pertevniyal Istanbul Club team in Turkey because high schools don't offer prep basketball. Kilicli played for the Turkish men's national team (Under 18) at the European Championships this past summer and averaged 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. In the game against Russia, he posted 27 points, on 13-of-20 shooting from the field, and had 18 points and 10 rebounds against Ukraine.
"Deniz gives us the size and bulk we have been lacking the past two years," says Huggins. "He combines great size with excellent athleticism, and will continue to improve at both ends of the floor as he adjusts to the American style of basketball. Deniz has an outstanding pair of hands, which is essential to be a great post player. He also shoots well from the perimeter."
Kilicli joins Dalton Pepper, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound shooting guard from Levittown, Pa., in this year's recruiting class. The early-signing period continues through Wednesday, Nov. 19.
Dan Jennings is expected to be the third and final early signee in this year's class.