We already said it in our previous reports:
he was the true MVP of the championship for us. Nobody here featured such a magnificent combination of skills, decision making, character and leadership. Akyol is an extremely fundamentally sound player that knows the game as well as anybody, a finesse player with highly polished skills. Hes a shooting guard with the soul of a playmaker, a stylish big combo guard who is a pleasure to watch.
Not the greatest athlete, Akyol makes up for his relative lack of quickness (lets stress relative) with amazing footwork, and somehow compensates his average athleticism with the fact that he can be a true playmaker on the offensive end at 6-6. In this tournament, we saw him starting games numerous times at the shooting guard position, only to later fully assume the playmaking duties whenever the situation required an offensive spark for Turkey, while being the man in charge in every clutch situation.
He was the clearest example of go-to player seen in Belgrade. For some stretches of the games, virtually all the offensive flow of his team was in his hands. Curiously, these were often his most effective moments, because if theres something you can miss in his performance, particularly for those who werent in Belgrade, its a higher degree of accuracy in his shots. However, what looks awful in the stat sheet, looked totally acceptable on the court, and highly effective in the end.
So despite what those stats tell, Akyol is a fine shooter, with the right mechanics and quickness to be effective, although a bit streaky from the perimeter. He was among the best in Belgrade firing off the dribble, and even has the ability to use the fade away movement. To be able to create his own shot is a crucial skill in his game, as he took advantage of this threat to beat his matchups and generate an important offensive flow from there. Cenk is a great decision maker, and with the defensive structure broken, its just a piece of cake for him, opting between feeding an open man, shooting a mid-ranger or going all the way to the basket to deliver a layup. He has the resources to score against opposition here using his soft touch for complicated layups, or elevating for short attempts while in motion.
His decision making couldnt be nearly as good as it is without his remarkable court vision. Just as the top point guards of the tournament, he is also a very good creator from the perimeter. Indeed he was statistically the fifth best passer of the Championship.
Sometimes he was impelled to force too much in certain situations, not only because of his leading role and freedom to play, but especially because his team needed him to make things happen in the offensive end. That meant taking the initiative, attracting defenses and opening up the game for his mates. This is a big reason for his bad percentages. It was especially obvious in the semifinal and the final, games where he was constantly over-defended, but his team needed him to run the offense, and that included some shooting.
On defense, hes decent. Hes not athletic enough to be a defensive stopper, but his knowledge of the game helps him in terms of positioning and effectiveness, usually coming away with a nice amount of steals in his bag (ranked first in Belgrade in this department).
To summarize, Akyol is an awesome player and the guy who arguably showed the most varied array of skills in Belgrade. Im confident he will reach the elite in Europe. NBA-wise, its harder to predict. Its rare to see a guard with average athleticism succeeding in such a demanding league (particularly a shooting guard). It takes an amazing collection of skills and smartness playing the game. However, Akyol might be capable of delivering them.