Yes, he is the younger brother of (now) New York Knicks Enes Kanter. Now that that’s off the table, let’s get to Xavier’s new big man.
Kanter had an eventful April, as the Turkish center declared for the NBA Draft while also committing to play for the Musketeers as a grad transfer. In late May however, Kanter announced that he was pulling out of the 2017 Draft and would be suiting up for Chris Mack.
This came as great news for Xavier, as Kanter is coming off of his best season at Green Bay. Averaging 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, he was a hot commodity on the transfer market.
Kanter told ESPN he's also heard from Kansas, Michigan State, UConn, NC State, Purdue, Baylor, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, BC, URI, K-State, etc— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 5, 2017
Last season RaShid Gaston collected the most minutes in the paint for the Musketeers and was their prominent interior presence. With Gaston out of the picture, expect Kanter to step up and see some of the available playing time. He’ll most likely be sharing these minutes underneath with Sean O’Mara, Kaiser Gates, and Tyrique Jones.
A lot of people are looking to make the transfer comparison between Kanter and Gaston, and our friends over at Banners On The Parkway did a great job of doing so.
According to their comparison, Gaston was a better player when coming to Xavier, and they’re right. Gaston was more effective at the rim while also being more valuable on the defensive end. That’s not to say Kanter won’t be useful for Mack. In Green Bay, Kanter had a little more flexibility as to where his shots were coming from. He’ll be at home in the paint for the Xavier offense. At 6’10” he’ll be alongside O’Mara as the Musketeer’s biggest player while immediately providing a needed rim protector.
Kanter also finished last season on a hot streak, scoring 20 points in each of Green Bay’s last five games. In that five game stretch, his touch at the rim was evident, which will undoubtably impress Musketeer fans.
Xavier was a projected top 25 team without Kanter’s commitment, so this will only help the outlook of the Musketeers’ season. Here are some of his highlights from last season, with a touch of awkward music to go with them.
Also he’s Enes Kanter’s brother. Don’t forget that.