Omer Yurtseven ineligible first 9 games for NC State, return set before ACC play

Turkish 5-Star center forced to sit out first 9 games of the season, with first game scheduled against Appalachian State.

The North State Journal
N.C. State Omer Yurtseven (14) shoots during a practice at the Dail Basketball Center on Friday

RALEIGH — NC State got some great news on Halloween, as Omer Yurtseven will be eligible to play for the Wolfpack basketball team after sitting out nine games to start the season.While that might not seem like “great” news, simply having him at all this year would have been huge. Having him in a Wolfpack uniform half a month prior to ACC play tipping off? Yeah, that’s massive for an NC State team that relied heavily on Abdul-Malik Abu last season with limited depth in the paint.”The NCAA conducted a thoughtful analysis of Omer’s situation,” NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow said in a press release. “Their staff exhibited considerable concern for fairness and for the welfare of this conscientious young man in their decision.”Yurtseven is a 7-foot center who ranked as a 5-Star center, according to 247Sports. After making the move from Istanbul, Turkey, Yurtseven’s status from the NCAA has been up in the air due to playing professionally.Omer Yurtseven being eligible is a game changer for NC State. Would have been a top 10 recruit if he had been in the US.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 31, 2016
Omer Yurtseven will help NC State's front court depth, but people should temper expectations. Will take him time to adjust to college game.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 31, 2016
Along with his nine-game suspension, he’ll also have to pay $1,000 of his earnings to a charity of his choice. He will be eligible to participate in all team practices and the first two exhibition games of the season against Lynn University on Thursday and Barton College on Nov. 7.”I’m disappointed for Omer,” NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “He has been patient and 100 percent forthright. We will adapt and integrate him in as soon as possible”While it’s not a perfect scenario for Yurtseven, it is ideal for the Pack. Yurtseven returns against Appalachian State at PNC Arena on Dec. 15 and will play in four games prior to ACC play beginning against Miami on Dec. 31.Having a core group of starters that include Yurtseven, Abu, fellow five-star freshman Dennis Smith, Terry Henderson and Maverick Rowan, NC State has a chance to make some noise in the conference after Gottfried’s worst season in Raleigh.