One of the most highly sought after big men in the 2014 class is Texas standout Myles Turner.
The 6-11 ½, 225-pound Turner hails from Euless, located roughly halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth in the Metroplex. He is in his senior year at Trinity High School.
Turner is rated as the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect in the 2014 class by 247Sports.com. He is also rated as the nation’s No. 2 center prospect (behind only Illinois’ Jahlil Okafor) and the No. 2 prospect in Texas (behind only top-rated national point guard Emmanuel Mudiay).
According to his father David, Turner has trimmed his list of schools to a manageable seven. That lucky group includes (alphabetically) Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas. He made his first official visit to Ohio State this past weekend. No other visits have been scheduled yet, he said.
“We had eight schools, but Louisville has stopped communicating with us,” David Turner said. “He has seven schools left and four visits remaining. We aren’t sure we’ll give the other four to yet. They all have an equal shot. We really like everybody. We’re not sure yet. We have to sit down and discuss it.
“A lot of the schools that are near to us, we may not need an official visit. The ones that are farther away like Kansas and Duke, we may want to visit them.”
(For what it is worth, the 247Sports.com Crystal Ball lists Kansas as a three-to-one favorite to land Turner over home state Texas.)
David Turner said his son and his wife, Mary, made the visit to Ohio State.
“They had a great time,” he said. “They thought it was an excellent campus. They got to talk to a psychology professor. They met the team and the coaches were all great. They had a great time and they were impressed.
Turner helped his USA Blue win a championship at adidas Nations
“Coach (Jeff) Boals has been recruiting and the head coach, Thad Matta, and Myles get along pretty well, too. Myles had a good connection with Thad.
“Myles said that Coach Matta said he doesn’t want to pidgeonhole him into the post. He sees Myles could play multiple positions and would develop him to do that. That’s encouraging for us as parents to see somebody wants to develop his entire game.”
Part of the visit included time spent at Ohio Stadium for the Iowa-Ohio State football game.
“The game, he said, was incredible with the crowd and the atmosphere,” he said. “There was some cold weather and he wasn’t expecting that. Other than that, it was a great game and he had a great time.”
Turner was originally scheduled to visit Texas this coming weekend. But his father said that trip has been postponed for the time being.
“We are going to go down to Houston and work out with John Lucas this weekend,” David Turner said. “We will reschedule the Texas visit.”
David Turner said that his son is in no real hurry to finalize his college decision.
“He might commit early, but he will definitely sign in the late period,” he said. “If he finds that school and knows that’s it, there is a chance he could commit early. But I think he will sign late in April.”
Turner was an all-camp pick at the NBAPA Top 100 camp
Trinity coach Mike Villines said that some nearby schools that have been scratched off Turner’s list are still coming to preseason open gyms at the school.
“Texas A&M and SMU continue to come. There are schools off his list that have continued to come,” the coach said.
In a previous interview, Myles Turner told 247Sports.com that he is looking for a good academic environment.
"Education is real important to me as cliche as that sounds and I want to major in Counseling Psychology,” he said. “Development is another big thing. I really want to play in the NBA. Any school that can really get me the tools and foundation I need to play in the NBA that's where my heart will be set. Distance isn't a factor. I really want a home away from home."
Building A Resume
Villines said that Turner has grown up in Euless and he recalls coaching him as an elementary school student at camp.
“He is a local kid,” Villines said. “He’s come to our basketball camps here from the time he was in the third grade. His parents have lived here 20-plus years. Our freshmen are on junior high campuses. He played as a freshman on a freshman team and they won 27 games. Then he joined us as a sophomore.”
As he grew, Turner was somewhat of an unknown. He missed activities during the summer of 2012 due to a broken ankle.
Turner recovered and enjoyed a big junior year at Trinity. He averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots per game as Trinity went 17-12. The Trojans reached the state playoffs for the first time in 10 years and just the ninth time in school history dating to 1968. Turner notched six triple-doubles during the course of the year.
Villines talked about what makes Turner a special prospect – besides his size and length.
“His work ethic is number one,” Villines said. “He has the best work ethic of probably any kid I have ever coached. By work ethic, I mean his outside stuff. Obviously, he works hard in our practices. But he goes above and beyond, outside our practices to elevate his game. That is a huge plus. He has worked hard over the years as he has continuously grown.
“He has always been a little bit of a skinny kid. He had to develop a jump shot and an outside game. Now that his body has grown to where he can be a force in the paint, it’s an added plus.”
Turner’s senior season will start in a few weeks. Villines said his big man is not letting the hype of the recruiting world distract him from the task at hand.
“He is super humble,” the coach said. “He doesn’t talk about it much. He does not walk around and be arrogant about it. He has probably handled it even more humble than me as his coach, having Coach Cal and Coach K and those kind of guys in the gym. It’s pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime scenario.
“But he just wants to be a senior. He is enjoying his senior year and not talking about schools or colleges. He’s pretty much talking about Trinity.”
As for where Turner could fit in at the college level, Villines sees him as a versatile player who could play either the four or five spots.
“Most everybody who is recruiting him is recruiting him as an inside-out guy,” he said. “Obviously, he will play inside. But they also want him to be that trailer (on the break) because he shoots the three so well for a guy his size. He probably needs to work on his dribbling on the perimeter.
“He does that for us, too. He will not come down and just sit on the block for us, even though he is a huge advantage in there. He runs the pick-and-pop so well. He trails and hits the three so well. He has such length that if he can get one step on you, he will be at the rim.”
Fully healthy, Turner was one of the top performers on the summer camp AAU and circuit. He was selected as an all-camp performer at the NBAPA Top 100 camp in Virginia in mid-June. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in his camp games there against top competition with an 18-point effort in his last game.
That’s when most college coaches and recruiting analysts began to take notice of him. He also excelled at the Nike LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. Then, he helped his USA Blue team win the adidas Nations tournament as well. He played with Texas Select on the AAU circuit.
“As far as my game I think I've taken a large leap from last year, of course I broke my ankle last season," Turner said previously. "I really take what the defense gives me. I have the ability to step out and shoot the three. I like to step out and force my defender to come out and guard me because that opens a lane for my teammates to drive.
“I don't want to shoot a ton of threes being 7-0. I really want to mix it up in the post. I think my ability to outwork my opponent and block shots is the real strength to my game right now.”
David Turner shared his view of his son’s development.
“I guess I see his potential,” he said. “Myles has worked from the ground up since he stepped on the basketball court. He always seems to be overlooked and underappreciated on every level. Even lately here, he is ranked like No. 2 in the country but within our home state in Texas some people have him ranked No. 5 in the state.
“If he just works hard and keeps developing, he won’t have to worry about the rankings. Everything will take care of itself.”
Jerry Meyer, the national basketball recruiting editor for 247Sports.com, shared his thoughts on Turner’s progress and how he projects at the college level.
“Myles was the high riser of the summer as far as moving up the charts to elite status. Myles is very skilled for a near-7 footer. He knows how to put the ball in the basket from different areas. He is just a good all-around offensive player. He is also a shot blocker.
“The big thing for him is just building his body and putting on more weight. I think he has the frame to do that. But I think he really established himself as one of the best big men in the country this summer.”
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