Nebraska eyes Turkish talent: Berke Buyuktuncel's visit signals potential bigman boost

Nebraska basketball actively seeks a new big man amidst Rienk Mast's absence. Berke Buyuktuncel's visit may signal a promising addition.
Chris Gardner/GettyImages

That the Nebraska basketball team has been rather quiet on the recruiting front doesn't mean that head coach Fred Hoiberg hasn't been working behind the scenes. Hoiberg has in fact, been working hard to add another big man to the roster after the announcement that Rienk Mast will miss the entirety of next season.

According to Robin Washut of On3, Nebraska has pinpointed their next big man target. And now the former UCLA Bruin is headed to Lincoln for an official visit. Those paying attention should know that an official visit has been a good sign for Nebrasketball this offseason.

 Berke Buyuktuncel arrived in town on Wednesday night and will take his official visit throughout the day on Thursday. 

The 6-foot-9 power forward from Bersa, Turkey appeared in 26 games in his freshman season for a squad that will be a rival for the Nebraska basketball team in the 2024-25 season. He averaged just 16.3 points per game, though did show he could be an impact player in those short minutes.

Nebraska basketball looking for more talent in the frontcourt

Buyuktuncel wasn't a prolific scorer by any measure, though he could prove useful for Hoiberg's system. He averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 38 percent from the field. As has been the case with Hoiberg recruits, the big man showed at least flashes of ability to hit shots from deep. He shot 29.7 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in his first college season.

Part of the reason the former Bruin didn't see a ton of production was because he sat out the first three games of the season waiting to be pronounced eligible. He also sat out three contests with a knee injury.

While mention of a barky knee will likely trigger some Nebraska fans due to Rienk Mast's struggles last season,  Berke Buyuktuncel is considered totally recovered. Expect news by the end of the week if the Huskers add another body to the roster.