Mar 27, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT
Evan Turner had a rollercoaster season. Started out with a dominant run that opened eyes. Then he broke his back on a dunk gone bad. Literally. Kid broke multiple vertebrae. He actually came back from that injury, and not only did he come back, he came back in half the time he was supposed to. He then picked up where he left off, locked up Player of the Year with absolutely absurd numbers, and headed into the NCAA tournament with a team that wasn’t that good outside of him, but locked as a No.2 seed.
But then in the tournament, teams discovered that was the case. That if they built their defense to give Turner trouble, there wasn’t much the Buckeyes could do. They managed to break through based on Turner’s persistence and a talent differential, but last night, the brick wall smacked them in the face and painted them volunteer orange. Evan Turner goes home. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins move on.
So where is Turner now? He came into the tournament as the overall likely #2 prospect, and there were those that felt with his maturity and size, that was worthy of the #1 overall. No one who really had watched John Wall up close, but whatever. Good hype for the young man. This tournament, though, may have shaken up his status.
DeMarcus Cousins has been an abject beast. He’s showing not only the athletic potential that make him such an attractive big, but leadership, touch, refinement, and an ability to take over games when called upon. The pick between he and Turner should be a spirited debate as we head towards June.
As David Thorpe points out, the X-Factor in this is each team’s needs. The Wolves obviously don’t need a big man or another point guard (or so we THINK), the Kings need a legit two-guard, and if the Knicks somehow win the lottery with Utah getting their pick, Turner is the only real option, despite the great play of Wesley Matthews this year.
Turner’s rollercoaster continues, and the only guarantee is that Turner will wind up in the top five, which isn’t bad at all.
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