NC State has already had a terrific recruiting year with the addition of Dennis Smith to the fold. Now, it just got much better by adding another blue-chip prospect. Turkish center Omer Yurtseven has committed to play for Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack this coming season, he told Scout.com.
“The offered me the perfect fit for education and other wise,” Yurtseven told Scout.
He committed to NC State over offers from Syracuse and Utah, as well as a sizable professional contract offer from Fenerbahce, which is his club in Europe.
Yurtseven is ranked No. 25 in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports.
Yurtseven has been a known quantity in scouting and recruiting services for a while, and it’s pretty difficult to overstate how big of a commitment this is for Gottfried and company. Turning 18 in June, Yurtseven is a 7-footer who weighs in around 230 to 240 pounds already with a terrific frame that looks capable of putting on even more strength. He is a good presence inside defensively, but is more comfortable on the glass and at the offensive end at this stage. Yurtseven possesses great mobility, touch around the hoop, the ability to get off the ground quickly (if not necessarily explosively), and even has a solid jumper out to about 15 or so feet.
He’s shown off these skills in the past at plenty of scouting events, as well as an exhibition game this past fall against the Brooklyn Nets where he scored eight points and had seven rebounds in under 20 minutes of action. Just this past weekend, he scored 91 points in a single game in a Turkish U18 game.
In all, Yurtseven is in the conversation along with Jarrett Allen and Marques Bolden to be the top center prospect in this 2016 recruiting class. He’s considered to be a potential lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and pairing with a pick-and-roll maestro like Smith would seem to be a good fit for him to reach his goals.
It is worth tempering some enthusiasm though, as it’s likely NC State is going to have a battle on its hands with the NCAA regarding his eligibility. There are some pretty significant questions about whether or not Yurtseven is still an amateur, as his coach, the famous European mastermind Zeljko Obradovic, has stated in the past that there will be issues.
“He wants to go to NCAA but our club paid him for the last three years, so he isn’t eligible to play in the NCAA,” Obradovic said after a win over Unicaja Malaga.
Of course, that comes from a coach who has a vested interest in keeping him over in Turkey for his team, so it’s worth questioning the source. DraftExpress reached out to Yurtseven following the allegation, who expressly denied the concerns by stating, “It is correct that they put money into an account that they opened up in my name, but I didn’t want it or ask for it,” as well as making known the fact that he has never taken a dime out of the account.
In all, this is a great day for NC State. But there’s still a bit more story to be told once the NCAA does its due diligence.