canada africa partner reservation Iowa Basketball has reportedly targeted UCLA F Berke Buyuktuncel

Iowa Basketball has reportedly targeted UCLA F Berke Buyuktuncel

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The Iowa Hawkeyes are still busy upgrading their roster for the 2024-2025 men’s basketball season.

After adding Morehead State transfer guard Drew Thelwell, Iowa is looking to continue to fill out its roster and add an offensive lineman as well. The Hawkeyes are reportedly one of a few teams interested in and in contact with UCLA transfer forward Berke Buyuktuncel.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein said Iowa is among a group of schools including Nebraska, Virginia, Cincinnati, Washington, Butler, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, BYU and Louisville that have contacted Buyuktuncel.

Buyuktuncel just completed his first season with the Bruins. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound freshman averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Buyuktuncel shot 38.5% from the field, 29.7% from 3-point range and 62.8% from the free throw line.

Born in Bursa, Turkey, Buyuktuncel was a regular participant in the Turkish international teams. Buyuktuncel helped Turkey finish in third place at the FIBA ​​U19 Basketball World Cup in the summer of 2023.

In Turkey’s third-place match against the United States, Buyuktuncel totaled 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals. He was named to the “All-Star Five” at the 2023 FIBA ​​U19 World Cup.

In seven games in that tournament, Buyuktuncel shot 38.3% from the field, 34.8% from the three-point arc and 86.7% from the free throw line.

In the summer of 2022, Buyuktuncel led Turkey to a second-place finish at the FIBA ​​U18 European Championship. Buyuktuncel was also named to the “All-Star Five” at the FIBA ​​U18 European Championship, averaging 12.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals in seven games.

If Iowa could add Buyuktuncel to the mix with rising sophomore Owen Freeman, the Hawkeyes could have the start of something special.

Iowa returns junior guard Josh Dix and sophomore guard Brock Harding and sophomore forward Pryce Sandfort. Standout forward Payton Sandfort could also return, though he entered his name in the 2024 NBA draft and just received an NBA draft combine invite.

Thelwell, Iowa’s only addition to the transfer portal so far, averaged 10.0 points, 6.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. The Orlando product shot 43.5% from the floor and 33.8% from three-point range.

Iowa also signed power forward Chris Tadjo and small forward Cooper Koch in the 2024 signing class. Koch is a four-star signee, while Tadjo is considered a three-star talent, according to 247Sports.

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