KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A reporter asked senior Deniz Kilicli how he wanted to be remembered by West Virginia fans, and the Turkish forward perfectly deadpanned his answer.
“I played here. I was the big bearded guy — that’s enough for me,” Kilicli said.
But after WVU’s 71-69 loss to Texas Tech in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, Kilicli offered more about the program, coaches and players who “took me in and really helped me through my basketball career.”
The college portion of Kilicli’s career ended with a disappointing 13-19 season, including seven straight losses down the stretch. But Kilicli was a part of three NCAA teams and one Final Four club, and he carries some fond reflections on his time at WVU.
“I played hard every game I played here,” he said. “I sacrificed a lot for this team and I would do it again.
“I would do anything for this team, and I did all I could do all my four years. So I want to be remembered as the guy who left nothing on the table.”