On Wednesday, we found out that Syracuse received a visit from seven-foot center Omer Yurtseven. This is major news for Syracuse who needs to pick up another big man in the class of 2016. Former target, Cheickna Dembele, chose UNLV and Taurean Thompson only knows what his top three schools are.
Yurtseven is an exceptional prospect that has an extremely high ceiling. As a 17-year old playing in the Turkish Leagues, Yurtseven was projected to be the No. 14 overall pick in the 2017 NBADraft by DraftExpress.com. The physically imposing center played for the team Turkey in the FIBA U18 European Championships. Yurtseven averaged 9.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds in nine games.
Yurtseven turned down a multi-year contract from Turkish team Fenerbahce in hopes of playing college ball in the United States. Yurtseven had been playing for Fenerbahce, but was not using money that they put in a bank account the club set up for him. When Yurtseven turned down the contact, Fenerbahce's head coach claimed that he had been using that money. A rule exists that states if he takes money from a professional team, he is not eligible for college basketball. That is where the waters get murky for Yurtseven, and his situation appears to be similar to former Kentucky big man, Enes Kanter.
Yurtseven denied all accusations in an interview with DraftExpress.com:
"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."
Yurtseven also said that he and his family have not taken "a dime" from the account nor has he ever signed any type of a contract with the team.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla had a chance to see Yurtseven in action:
"I just saw him a couple weeks ago at the Basketball Without Boarders," Fraschilla said. "He's a very good player. He's definitely a high Division I player."
An NBA Scout also weighed in on Yurtseven:
"This young man is the real deal," the Scout said. "Probably a lottery pick in (the 2017) draft. Tall, athletic, and smart. He can play the power forward and center positions."
The biggest question with Yurtseven will be whether or not Fenerbahce looks to prove that he took money from that account, which would no longer allow him to come to the United States and play college ball.
Syracuse did not extend an offer to Yutseven, but a source close to him told Mike Waters that Syracuse, Tennessee, Duke, and NC State have emerged as the front runners for his services.
Check out some of his highlights: