Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five-star prospect Myles Turner picks Texas

Kansas University basketball recruit Myles Turner and other top high school basketball players will play tonight in the McDonald's All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago.

Kansas University basketball recruit Myles Turner and other top high school basketball players will play tonight in the McDonald's All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago.


Reader poll

With Myles Turner's announcement that he will play college basketball at Texas next season, how good do you think Kansas will be in 2014-15?

  • KU will be a top-5 team. 24% 216 votes
  • KU will rank among the top 10 in the nation. 53% 463 votes
  • KU will be ranked somewhere between 11th and 25th 19% 169 votes
  • KU won't be a top-25 team. 1% 17 votes

865 total votes.

Myles Turner, a 6-foot-11, 225-pound senior center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, today announced plans to play college basketball at the University of Texas.

Turner, who is’s No. 9-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2014 and the country's second-ranked center, chose Texas over Kansas University, SMU, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Duke and Texas A&M.; He made his announcement on ESPNU.

"I will be pursuing my education and be a part of the men's basketball program at… the University of Texas, baby," Turner said. "Hook 'em!"

Staying in state, he explained, was a big part of his choice.

"I'm happy to be a Texan," Turner said on the live broadcast. "Always been a Texan my whole life."

Turner, who has range past the three-point line, averaged 18.1 points, 12.2 rebounds, 6.8 blocks and 3.5 assists per game his senior season.

Podcast episode


Tom Keegan and Matt Tait react to Myles Turner picking Texas

Tom Keegan and Matt Tait react to standout prep center Myles Turner picking Texas over Kansas in the latest men's basketball recruiting battle.

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He scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in the East’s 105-102 loss to the West in the McDonald’s All-America game. He knocked down his only three-point attempt in the game after finishing fourth in the three-point contest the night before.

Turner scored two points and had three rebounds while playing eight minutes in Team USA’s 84-73 win over the World Select team in the recent Nike Hoops Summit. He missed the Jordan Brand Classic because of a foot injury.

Of Turner, the Dallas Morning News’ Corbett Smith wrote: “He might be the most skilled high school big man in the country while facing the basket. A good ball-handler for his size, with solid footwork, a fluid outside shooting stroke, and ability to use either hand while in the post, Turner’s skills are tailored for the college and professional level.”

Smith added in a recent article on Turner ... “Defensively, there’s no question that Turner can dominate at the high school level. With long arms and good athleticism, he’s a natural shot blocker — deterring all but the strong-willed from a trip to the rim.”

Turner stood 6-foot-2 his freshman year, but then had a quick 4-inch growth spurt prior to his soph season. Pretty much an unknown, he emerged in the summer of 2013 playing for Texas Select AAU. Unranked starting the summer, he moved to No. 6 by by the end of the summer season. He dipped to nine in Rivals’ final rankings.

Turner drew high marks at various camps, including LeBron James, Nike Big Man Skills Academy, and Adidas Nations.

“He’s taken an unusual route to get to where he’s at — completely unknown to where he is now,” Turner’s dad, David, told the Morning News. “He’s blue-collared his way there.”

Coach coach Mark Villines told the Morning News: “As a coach, I don’t want him coming down and standing on the block all the time. Obviously, that’s where we can take advantage of him, but he does so many other things well. He pick-and-pops, he can shoot the 3. Percentage-wise, he’s our best 3-point shooter.”


Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

Turner has always been UT bound. I was surprised he didn't give SMU all that much consideration and he hosted Self on Easter Sunday.

Our guys need to toughen up and get hungry because number 11 will be a war on the court. Mickelson matches up well with Turner. Ridley and Alexander will be fight to the death, figuratively. The Isaiah Taylor will be a problem. I think Selden is our best and only hope to cover him. PG situation must be resolved! If Selden's knee recover's, he's our PG.

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

Selden is not a PG. He will never play that position while he is in college.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

Devonte Graham, just sign on the line, sir!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, Myles, we Hawks will see you next 2015 and you'll get to experience Allen Fieldhouse from the other end of the spectrum.

PS Your hero never won in Allen so we will do our best to make sure you follow in his sneakers and maintain his legacy. :)

Joe Baker 8 years, 7 months ago

Turner said he wanted to "do what he did down there." That includes getting spanked by KU. Turner totally forgot KU is the King of the B12 and the championship goes through Lawrence. Also, he failed to recognize how many NCs Rick Barnes and Frank Earvin areana holds...ZERO!

Oh well, he must be an under achiever like Rick Barnes.

Andy Hess 8 years, 7 months ago

Well I'll be the first unsurprised but still butthurt homer to say that he's an idiot for choosing to play at Texas behind three other bigs, for a half-wit of a coach, and in front of half-empty unenthusiastic home crowds. I wish you no good luck at all, and may God have mercy on your soul when Big Cliff dunks all over it next year.

Whew. I feel better now.

Carry on.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't say this very often, and I'm not quite sure I know what it means, but......


John Myers 8 years, 7 months ago

They're not so much half-empty and unenthusiastic, they're just fair-weather. The crowd at the KU game this year really brought it, because the team was doing well - loud and in force. Last year, I think the crowd was definitely heavier in favor of KU. To be fair, though, that's not at all unlike our fans for football.

But I definitely question anyone wanting to play for Barnes, one of the more mediocre coaches out there.

Joe Baker 8 years, 7 months ago

This is funny. Oh well, Lucas and Mickelson are the lone bigs. This is go time boys. You need to show what you have for the B12. Lucas especially needs to show up in a big way. Mickelson better show why he chose KU.

OK...Davonte Graham, we need a pg. What say you? Or are you staying close to home at NCST?

Where are all the KU anti-OAD fans? You got your wish and now you have a chance to get the little stellar pg. If we miss on both, we're back to the drawing board and our team better show how they've come together. No reason why our returners can't perform. No more excuses.

HEM, aka Jack Wilson? You got your wish and your prediction is half right. Now if we miss on Graham, I will laugh so hard because then we all missed our late picks. Worse case we have one extra scholarship. Bill Self said "we weren't done"? It appears we are at this point. I don't see Graham coming to KU. He sounds pretty focused on NCST.

Turner wasn't waiting on Embiid's decision. He was getting exposure for his teammates. Self wasn't there to see his teammates nor was any other coach. They were there to recruit him. So our speculating about Turner waiting for Embiid was a joke.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

On presumed OADs, I prefer that as a program policy, we not pursue them. Guys that are very clear that they are OAD, we should pass. Alternatively, I'd rather commit our recruiting resources to top 50ish guys instead. I know I'm maybe a minority of one on that. And maybe that should tell me something.

With Turner, we don't have the choice of a top 50ish big guy at this point. That recruiting ship has sailed. So I would have been fine with Turner at this point. I would have rather us not have signed Alexander in favor of a PF that would be here three seasons. It might have created a talent gap for a season, but it would make our program stronger in long run to develop guys to the NBA level -- Aldrich, Morris twins, TRob, Withey.

But I am certainly looking forward to seeing Alexander play (but not OAD-like expectations -- he's not Julius Randle, right?), and very much hope that he ends up staying for a second season. Otherwise, we'll be chasing our tail on OADs again for 2015-16. Actually, I really hope Self can score a top big guy in 2015 class that will be here a few seasons.

And I don't think it is an "either-or" deal with Turner and Graham. If Turner would have chosen KU, and Graham wanted to come, I think we would have found room. Just a hunch.

Given Graham's ranking .. and that's about all I'm basing this off of because I honestly hadn't heard of the guy until late March .. it would be a fine addition. But I don't know the details of whether he's a stud defender, low turnover, good ball handling, smart, fits Self's scheme, etc. Just don't know. But with an open scholarship and no better alternative, why not?

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 7 months ago

Turner isn't a OAD. However the NBA will change the OAD Rule this summer. It will be Two-And-Thru.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

If that means we get to keep Cliff and Kelly an extra year....I"LL TAKE IT!!!

Joe Baker 8 years, 7 months ago

Taylor will dribble circles around Selden. Selden will not be able to contain Taylor. Taylor is too quick. I'd rather have Mason on Taylor.

Glen Miller 8 years, 7 months ago

Whys that, so he can dribble into a crowd and dish it to the other team? Or maybe so he can throw up some circus shot thinking he'll get the foul? No, ohhhhh right then so he can get screened every time and let Taylor have a wide open look..... Selden will be just fine, let's see how he does when fully healthy and after a full year in the program.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

OH CRAP..the reply function is gone again as is the responding back in reverse order is back. Can someone notify the LJW, please??

My response to Vern was if the TAT is for real, I'll take it 'cause that means we get Kelly and Cliff for an extra year....UNLESS, it is not retro-active!!

Aw hell, why worry about it,..the NBA has their hands full with Sterling.

Kind of funny, though how the "Sterling" got polished by the "Silver"!!

Marc Frey 8 years, 7 months ago

Turner will play in his home state and is assured 2 TV games when the Horn play KU. Guess that sold him.

Robert Brown 8 years, 7 months ago

I am surprised that KU has not been successful in recruiting in Texas. Other than Darrel Arthur, I can't think of top recruit from Texas in the Bill Self era. Texas has great basketball players and the team makes four trips a year to the state to play a game. I am not criticizing Bill Self's recruiting, but it is a surprise he has not been more successful in Texas.

On another note, I am trying to find an example during the Self era where a Top 10 recruit significantly improved the team's prospects during his freshman season. You might point to this past year which was loaded with freshmen, but I think in most cases, elite freshmen have not significantly improved the teams performance.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 7 months ago

We will be ok. KU will be fine. I had a feeling he was going to UT and it is his choice. We have quality big men in Ellis, Alexander and Traylor. This off season now Lucas and Mickelson need to get ready. I am sure they both know it is their time to start contributing. Honestly, with Ellis, Alexander and Traylor we have 3 guys that can rotate spots and be versatile in the 4 and the 5 depending on matchups. Getting Lucas to improve and Mickelson ready would be icing on the cake for out depth for the big men.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 7 months ago

LOL, thought he said he wanted to go where he had the best chance to win a championship.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the Big 12 but that's about it. Even w/Turner,Texas doesn't have a top 50 recruiting class though that is subject to change

Walter Bridges 8 years, 7 months ago

Joe Baker, Lucas and Mickelson are not our only bigs. We also have Traylor, Alexander and Ellis. What the problem is, is that all of our bigs are power forwards and play better facing the basket. I think Turner also wanted to play facing the basket more often than playing the high low offense where he would have his back to the rim. Turner is a scorer who has range and the athleticism to drive inside.

Suzi, I don't believe he has always been UT bound. If that was true then why the prolonged period of recruitment. I find it hard to believe that he is that much of a narcissist but maybe I'm wrong.

"Mickelson matches up well with Turner"

Would like to know where you got that information. Have they played against each other before? Does Mickelson also have three point range and is his defense capable of stopping Turner? Mickelson is also a power forward who had marginal success at best at Arkansas. I do think he will be a much proved player now that he has had a year under his belt learning Self's system but do you have ANY proof/source that shows he matches up well? I think your statement is pure conjecture and wishful thinking. That being said, I hope you are correct.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

I've seen Turner play in three high profile games and Mickelson play in KU practices. Turner is not that fast and has poor footwork. Mickelson has a very good shot and can probably shoot the 3 ball from the top of the key as well as Turner.

For atleast the past year, Turner has UT bound. I live in Houston and have several friends that are UT Alums and active in the athletic affairs. Turner has visited Austin on his own several times and his very close to Ridley and several of the other players. Turner has attended the UT camps. Turner is very close to his family. Austin and Lawrence are about 198 and 518 miles from the Turner household. That's a 2.5 hour drive vs. 7 hours. That's a bid deal. I've been downplaying Kansas getting Turner on nearly ever every post about Turner.

Self knew all this. Brown told him Turner was not going to leave TX. I admire Self for his refusal to not back off. He never gave up and even gave up the Easter holiday.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm a fan of losing a guy to another team in conf. Glad he chose a big 12 school, should have picked us but he has his reasons. We still are loaded and count me in as a Mason guy. He will be our point and lead us to number 11 and a final four. (Kentucky is winning it, it hurts me to say).

Walter Bridges 8 years, 7 months ago

Kentucky or Duke Berger. Both are loaded and have top PGs Unless something big happens, Self will need to develop this team which I think he was the best at doing. We still have 4 McDonald All-Americans on this team.

Even w/Turner, Texas isn't in the top 25 in team rankings.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 7 months ago

Boy do I hate the big production announcing what college a player picks has become. Of the missed players over the years this one bothers me the least. It will be interesting to see how much he plays in the next few years due to how injury prone he is. Hope Graham does not want to play at home like Turner. We need PG help.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

Amen to all that. I wish we signed Turner because he and his family are high quality people. As a basketball player, he is not that good, IMO. I'm sure Self saw alot of potential he could develop. I don't think he would have started for Kansas but still think he made a major mistake.

If Selden heels up, I'm hoping he becomes our PG mainly because of his leadership skills. What an amazing turnaround that would be.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 7 months ago

Seldom needs to improve his ball handling to be the pg. There were times it was atrocious. The growth this offseason hopefully is huge for him and our young guys. I'm excited because Self doesn't truly succeed with the youth that we had this year. We don't go deep in the tourney when we are young so next year has a lot more potential. We won't be just a two man team.

Mike Riches 8 years, 7 months ago

Assuming Turner would have started with KO and Cliff (which probably would have been the case, at least at some point during the season) that would have been three freshmen (and most likely three OAD) starters next year. I just think the chemistry will be better and the learning curve shorter with the guys we have at present. Working a couple of super-talented freshmen into a good core of more experienced players makes a lot of sense to me. I like our chances to be a really good, consistent team next year.

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