10 Newcomers to Watch: Turkish BSL

Next league under my magnifying glass is the Turkish BSL that starts on Saturday, 25th Sept with the match between Turk Telekom and Tofas Bursa.

I will repeat the rules which players are eligible for the report:

  • 1st rule: the players will be playing for the first time in this competition
  • 2nd rule: only non-domestic players were eligible for the list
  • 3rd rule: the player must be 27 years old or younger — so only players born in 1994 or after that were eligible for the list

The players on the list are not necessarily the best but just the most interesting to me and I expect that they will not have any problems translating to their new team and league. Also the players are not in any particular order.

Filip Petrušev (C | 211 cm | ’00) ~ Anadolu Efes

I will start with the youngest player on this list — 21 year old Filip Petrušev. He was drafted as the 50th pick in 2021 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but he didn’t make it into the team so he joined the current Euroleague champion Anadolu Efes. Filip is coming to Anadolu Efes after a dominant season in the Adriatic League where he was the top scorer and MVP of the competition. A skilled and mobile big man, very good rebounder and finisher around the rim and also slowly adding some range but not a consistent shooter yet. Has great court awareness and understanding of the game. He has shown some good performances in preparations and I think he will fit really well in the system played in Efes.

Trevon Bluiett (SG/SF | 198 cm | ’94) ~ Besiktas

Besiktas had a task to replace Sengun, Hazer and Blackmon, three of their most important players from last season. In my opinion they did a good job and brought some interesting names to their team and Trevon Bluiett is one of them. Athletic swingman that can bring some good scoring numbers to the table. He moves well without the ball around screens and can create separation for shots or get the step of advantage and attack with drives. It will be his first season in Europe but I believe he has the game that should translate to this level easily.

Troy Caupain (PG | 193 cm | ’95) ~ Darussafaka

Troy Caupain had a great season last year with Ulm in the German League and in Eurocup. A point guard with very good positional size that can fill many stats lines. Good penetrator and finisher around the rim where he knows how to use his body for protection. Not the most explosive but still somehow finds the way to the rim. Can make some shots from distance but is not a consistent and reliable shooter in my opinion. Has good court vision and can connect all the players on the floor. He proved in Germany that he can play on the highest level and I think he will show similar performances in the Turkish league too.

Melo Trimble (PG | 188 cm | ’95) ~ Galatasaray

Melo Trimble is not a new name on this blog and I already made a report on him. He was injured and hasn’t played in any games for Galatasaray in the preparations but he should be ready for the start of the season. A score-first point guard that just needs the ball in his hands and he will find a way to score some points. Can play solid defense on perimeter too and most of the time underrated as a defender. I believe he will be one of the best players from Galatasaray even though they made some really good moves this off-season.

Kerry Blackshear (PF | 208 cm | ’97) ~ Galatasaray

And speaking of good moves from Galatasaray, Kerry Blackshear is one of them for sure. I also made a report on him a few months ago. A strong big who knows how to use his body to create space and how to absorb contact. He had some great performances in the preparations and looks more confident as a shooter from distance than in last season. I think Galatasaray is the right place for him and if he manages to continue with those shooting numbers and also improve other areas of his game, then he could be one of the steals of this off-season in Turkish league.

QJ Peterson (PG | 183 cm | ’94) ~ Gaziantep

QJ Peterson is similar to Melo Trimble a scoring oriented point guard. He was dominant last season in Denmark and averaged more than 20 points per game and had similar averages in the six games that Bakken Bears played in the Basketball Champions League. His scoring numbers during his career were always really high but he never played in a league as competitive as the Turkish BSL. When QJ gets in rhythm it is really hard to stop him, so explosive and quick and most teams will have a hard time defending him. One of the most fun players to watch and I can’t wait to see him on a bigger scene.

Alpha Kaba (PF/C | 208 cm | ’96) ~ Gaziantep

Another player from Gaziantep on this list is French big man Alpha Kaba. He will replace his countryman Mo Jaiteh who had a great season last year in Gaziantep. Alpha is a mobile and athletic big man, a very good pick & roll player with great hands. Great interior presence and finisher at the rim, mostly going for dunks if there is enough space but sometimes showing some soft touch too. Not a player that could create a lot for himself but depends on passes from team mates. Also a great rebounder and rim protector. I think that it was a good decision to go out of France to a new country and new environment and that he still has a lot to show and that he could have a great season in Turkey.

Rihards Lomažs (SG | 193 cm | ’96) ~ Belediyesi

Rihards Lomažs is coming to Turkey after a strong second half of the season in Germany where he played for Göttingen. Before that he got a limited role and playing time in Asvel and he just needed a club where he got more responsibilities. Rihards is a great scorer that can score points in many different ways. Good shooter from distance but also really dangerous when he gets closer to the rim. Can play with or without the ball and always a threat for the defense. He was fun to watch in Göttingen and I’m curious if he will show similar performances in Turkey too. He definitely has the offensive talent to be one of the players to watch in this season.

Justin Wright-Foreman (PG | 183 cm | ’97) ~ Petkim Spor

Justin Wright-Foreman is another great scorer from the point guard position on this list. Last season he came to France late in the season and showed that his game translates to Europe really well. He was averaging 17 points per game in France and he is capable of repeating something similar in Turkey too. Dangerous from all spots on the floor. With his ball handling skills he can create separation easily and punish every small mistake from defense. Has some size limitations in defense but his offensive game usually prevails and he does more good than bad stuff. He is one of my favorites to finish the season as the best scorer of the competition and he is a player worth watching.

Kasey Shepherd (PG | 190 cm | ’94) ~ Tofas Bursa

Finishing the list with another player that was already mentioned on this blog — Kasey Shepherd. Similar to most point guards in the league and on this list, he is a great scorer too and can put pressure on the rim or take shots from distance. Has solid playmaking skills too, especially out of pick & rolls when he gets a mismatch or some kind of separation. Limited as a defender and there is a lot to improve on that side of the floor. He is improving every year and finishing in better clubs and this season could be the one when he proves that he deserves a chance on the top level.

Twitter: @turkmarkoo