|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Darussafaka|
H: 6' 3"|
W: 176 lbs
(34 Years Old)
|Agent: Maurizio Balducci ||
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Best Case: Mike Bibby
Worst Case: Pepe Sanchez
Ender Arslan finished a successful regular season at the Euroleague level. Although his stats do not seem very high (especially his percentages) he was still the most valuable player off the bench for his team. The reason for this is easy to answer: Primary Point Guard Will Solomon had several off nights and was not used to the slower pace of his team Efes, so he had big struggles organizing his team's offense. But coach Mahmuti always brought Arslan at those moments and the control of the tempo was back for Efes. That's without any doubt the biggest advantage of Arslan: a very smart player who knows how and when to use his teammates. He also made clutch shots in crunch time.
Eight points per game is a number which should not be underestimated considering his role and the fact that his team is very defensive minded. Looking at his turnovers we see the low figure of 1.3 per game, whereas he made 1.2 steals per game.
Losing former Point Guard Kerem Tunceri made it look like Arslan was destined to become the starter before the season, but Efes decided to sign Solomon instead. However, the addition of the very talented Solomon didn't affect Arslan's game and minutes. For now he averages 20 minutes per game. Coach Mahmuti often tries to play with both Arslan and Solomon in hope to use the American guard more effectively at the Shooting Guard spot so he can profit from Arslan's more organized game.
Perhaps the point in which Arslan showed the biggest improvement is in his defensive ability. Especially when playing in a zone defense, Arslan shows great speed in his rotations. His man to man defense has improved as well. A reason for this are the 20 minutes per game, in which he brings tremendous energy to the game.
Now, the Top 16 waits for Efes. What can we expect from Arslan there? It seems that his minutes won't suffer that much, because he is very experienced and has already played key Top 16 games last year in which he contributed very well. Of course it often depends on the play of Solomon, but it is obvious that coach Mahmuti will use him at the Point Guard position as much as he can to keep the control of his team's offense.
Arslan is a true PG. He can dish out many asissts and control his team on the offensive end. He is one of those PG's who knows how and when to use his players. He is an excellent ballhandler and keeps his turnover rate to a minimum. He can penetrate and find the open man by using screens very effectively or by making a quick move from the perimeter. For him to miss an open three pointer off a double team is a rarity for Arslan, because he is a nice three point shooter and also has the ability to create his own shots by using screens or smart crossovers.
His goal is to share the ball as quickly and as effectively as possible to make the offensive game of his team faster, which is one of the biggest problems for Efes. Arslans ability at the PG position would fit in well in a motion offense, because he always is in the triple threat position (pentrate, pass, shoot). Another important point about his game is the amazing quietness he has. He is not stressed if his team has some problems during the game and also does not force any shots in these situations. He is very smart and intelligent for his young age and is not afraid of leading his team in crunch time and attempting some crucial shots.
Though he plays for a team which is known as the best defensive team in Europe, he still has some problems on the defensive end. His physical weaknesses can be seen if opponent PG's prefer to play the pick and roll. He has worked on this problem, but still has some problems to motivate himself for his defensive job. Another weakness, which also showed some effects for his team, is that he has too much respect for the opponents frontcourt. You often can see him interrupting his penetration if driving into the zone and trying to pass the ball to the outside shooters instead. He has the courage to take over in crucial situations but you also can see that he tries to deny physical play as far as possible. Although he has shown some leadership ability, he is too silent on the court. All in all we can say he is a very interesting prospect and loves to work on the court. He is in a nice team with an excellent coach to improve his game.
Arslan has been a member of the Turkish cadet and junior nationalteam.
He made his debut with Efes Pilsen during the 1999-00 season and is still playing there. In the Euroleague regular season he averaged 9,4 points per game and 4,7 assists per game. He showed his best performance against Pamesa Valencia, when posting 25 points and 11 assists.
Like many other Efes players, there are not many rumors about Arslan.
He gets consistent minutes in Istanbul and is a player Efes needs in all of their games. For a few weeks it looked like Arslan will be the starting PG when Kerem Tunceri signed with Ülker, but Efes decided to bring in former Clemson star Will Solomon as the new PG. But the fact that Solomon is more of a SG than a PG shows that Arslan will see more minutes next year.
Arslan is one of the most important players in the future of the Turkish national team. He is in the right place to improve his game and be an interesting prospect for the NBA.
Arslan always said his dream is to play beside or against Allen Iverson. As luck would have it, even though he is still playing in Europe, his dream became true, when the Turkish national team played the USA twice in August in their preperations for the Olmypics.