NC State freshman to declare for NBA Draft


If NC State freshman Dennis Smith Jr. makes the likely move of declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft, he won’t be the only Wolfpack underclassman to do so.

According to, NCSU rookie Omer Yurtseven will test the NBA waters. Per the report, the 7-foot center will not hire an agent.

Yurtseven arrived at NC State last offseason as part of the team’s 2016 signing class. Multiple outlets, including 247Sports, listed him as a 5-star recruit.

Yurtseven’s college career got off to a slow start in multiple ways, however. The NCAA handed a nine-game suspension to the Turkey native after investigating his amateur status after he played pro ball overseas. Once Yurtseven was eligible to play, he struggled with the speed and physical nature of college basketball.

As a freshman, Yurtseven started 14 of the 22 games in which he played for the 16-17 Wolfpack. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and his minutes dwindled toward the end of the season. does not have Yurtseven listed in its most recent 2017 mock draft, but it does project the big man to go No. 34 overall in the 2018 draft.

NC State’s ongoing coaching search could play a part in determining Yurtseven’s future. Athletic director Debbie Yow fired head coach Mark Gottfried in February. Gottfried coached the rest of the 2016-17 season, which ended for the Wolfpack on March 7 following a loss to Clemson in the ACC Tournament.

The Pack graduates center BeeJay Anya after this season, and Smith projects as a lottery pick in this summer’s draft. In addition, junior forward Abdul-Malik Abu could opt to leave early for the pros after testing the waters last spring.

Shooting guard Thomas Allen is the lone player committed to NC State’s 2017 recruiting class. The 4-star prospect from Garner, N.C., signed with the team last fall.