NC State freshman center Omer Yurtseven is testing the waters of the NBA Draft as he's going through the combine in Chicago this week. Below is a question-and-answer with media during the event.
What went into the decision to come over from Turkey?
Academics, basically. I really wanted to take classes. Mentally, basically. That's the main reason for me to come over.
Which teams have you interviewed with so far?
I had three workouts before here: Spurs, Oklahoma City and Boston Celtics. Over here I had interviews with Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Clippers.
What was the biggest adjustment for you this year coming over from Turkey?
The system change and the whole college basketball basically. It depends more on an individual game, which I kind of got adjusted to at the end of the season.
What are you trying to get out of these workouts and what kind of feedback are you looking for?
I mean, the feedback that will affect my decision is I want to see a team committing to me, basically. Because, one bad season should know show how good of a player that I am. I believe they watched me when I was 15, 16, 17 and this year, one year of bad play, should not affect the whole player's potential.
What do you think happened this year?
I guess we couldn't come together. Things didn't go the way we wanted.
Why do you think that was?
There were many reasons but the thing that will stand out most is that we just basically we had to mentally get together and we couldn't do that.
What's it like going through this process without an agent?
It's tougher, definitely, because an agent is someone who will be on your side. Will help you with talking with the teams on everything. Set up the schedule. It's just somebody else on your side, basically. And if it's a strong agent, that is even more on your side.
What do you want to show teams?
My low post game. I want to show teams what I can do in the post.
What do you need to hear to stay in the draft? Is there a range of picks that you kind of need or something told to you?
I just need to have like a verbal... a commitment from a team. If they say, 'We believe in your talent. We'll draft you and invest in you. We'll do everything going to get you on our team. We need you, we need your talent.' If they say that, I'll be 100 percent in.
You played good seasons before your college season. Have teams talked to you about that?
They told me that we had a tournament in Greece. We played there at a mountain. One team's scout said, 'I came to see YOU at the top of a mountain in Greece.' So I know that the NBA is everywhere. They watch everything.
You had a really tough year at NC State. Mark Gottfried is gone now. Does any part of you regret going to NC State?
Everything happens for a reason. That's what I want to believe, to be honest. This year has definitely gotten tougher, mentally, definitely. I've been going through tough times. It really helps. Next time adversity hits me, similar to this, I'll be ready. I can't say I regret coming here because there's probably some inner reason God has put me here.
Have you been in touch with the new coaching staff and what do they say to you?
Kevin Keatts seems to be like a great guy. I haven't seen him coach live yet but he seems to be like a straight-up guy that will always be honest with you.
What's some of the feedback that he's given you?
He said, 'If you don't find what you're looking for at the combine or in the workouts, you can always have in your mind that you have some place to come back to. It's comforting to hear that.
Would it feel like a fresh start if you came back? Kind of like a second chance?
Basically, yeah, it would. The thing is, nobody is back that's the same. There's probably, like three guys or four guys that staffed with the staff. So it be like a fresh start.
Is there anything you're trying to focus on with your game over these last few weeks?
So this year I haven't really had a chance to show my low-post game. So basically that's what I'm trying to do. That's how I played good overseas, because of my low-post game, my footwork and everything.