A new big man target in 2014?

One of the top performers on the Under Armour circuit has been Texas big man Myles Turner. Measuring out at nearly seven feet and 225 pounds, Turner has earned a lot of high major interest early, and the Blue Devils are also working on building some early ground work. TDD spoke with both Myles and his father, David, about this and more.

Can you give us an outline of your basketball career to date?

Myles Turner: When I was about in the 5th grade I started at the YMCA, and I always had a knack for blocking shots. Also, I was always bigger than everybody else, so about junior high I had a love for the game and went from there. My freshman year I led my team to a district title, the way it works here where I live is junior high is 7th to 9th grade, so I was on my 9th grade team and we won a district title, and then I hit a growth spurt from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-8, and I just kept going from there.

Did you have any favorite players or teams growing up?

Growing up I liked Shaquille O'Neal because I really admired the way he played and he played kinda like my dad played. Nowadays my role model is Kevin Durant, both on and off the court.

Durant has been in the news of late because of his off the court work…

That just shows who he is as a person, that's really awesome to hear that he is helping the people in Oklahoma so much.

Have you always been a natural post player, or have you had to work to develop your skills?

I've always kind of been a natural post player but I've also been working on my ball-handling so I can complement my inside game with an outside game as well.

Are you an outside/in stretch power forward?

Yes sir, that's what I consider myself as a player.

How's your summer been going events wise?

It's been going well, I just got back from the Adidas Nations camp in Miami.

The roster lineup at the Adidas Nations camp looked loaded with talent it seemed…

Yes sir, it really was. I really liked it, and it was my first one. The competition there was just outstanding. You had guys like Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, Goodluck Okonoboh. Really, it was just great competition.

Sounds like you were matched up against the post guys, did you play any of the wings or just post players?

I was pretty much matched up with the post guys since I was one of the tallest guys there.

Where are you with a current height and weight ?

I'm at 6-foot-11 right now, and I weigh 225 pounds.

Do you have a set workout routine or regiment?

David Turner: He does a lot of track work, and a lot of body weight stuff, and he just started doing yoga for flexibility, it's really great.

When you get to the next level, do you have a target weight?

Probably 245 or so.

At that height and weight, do see yourself playing the five or four role?

That would fit my game just great, because I love going to work in the post, but I also like shooting the outside jumper as well. I want to play that stretch-four role and my growth plates are still wide open too.

David Turner He weighs a size 21 shoe already.

How's the recruiting process been going this spring?

It's been going great, I can give you a list of schools that are recruiting me. They are West Virginia, Creighton, UCLA, Marquette, Duke, UCONN, Purdue, Indiana, Arizona, Oregon State, Oregon, USC, Rice, Houston, Texas A&M, SMU, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Cornell, St. John's, and Western Kentucky. That's all I can handle off the top my head.

Can you share which schools out of that list have not given you a firm, committable offer as of yet?

Duke has not offered a firm offer yet, and St John's and Stanford has not given a firm offer yet. All the rest have given a firm, committable offer.

Can you describe where Duke, St John's and Stanford are in the recruiting process with you?

Duke just contacted us about two weeks ago, and they had seen me during the July period before. We're in pretty good contact with them. St John's, we haven't had as much phone communication with them, but they have been sending a lot of mail, Stanford's the same, i've been getting text messages from them, but I haven't talked much with them.

Have they requested transcripts yet?

Stanford I know for sure has, but Duke hasn't gotten that far yet.

David Turner: I think Coach K just saw some film of Myles. Coach Nate James has been recruiting him, and I think they are going to be stepping it up a little bit. We haven't talked with Coach K yet, just Coach James. It's a wait and see process, and right now it's a get in the lab process and keep working on his game, making sure he's always working on his game.

Myles Turner: Coach James, he's been very honest. He said likes my game and he's been telling me about the school a little bit.

David Turner: He's been telling us about some things that he likes about Myles's game and some things he could work on as well.

What has he say that he liked about Myles's game?

David Turner: Blocking shots, rebounding, running the floor, his outside shooting, he said he wants him to get stronger and with his agility so he can move his feet and defend pick and roll. He's been doing that in practice every day.

With Duke getting involved, have you developed an early impression of their program?

Duke has just had a tradition of excellence as far as being a winning program, and it's a great college team, but I still need to do some more research into them, so it's hard to say right now.

Are you taking any visits this summer?

Not official, but we're going to take unofficials at the end of the month to UCLA since I'll be out that way in Long Beach for a camp. We'll also probably visit Oklahoma State again because my dad couldn't come the first time.

Did you have a lot of interest from the old UCLA staff?

No, but Steve Alford was recruiting me at New Mexico and when he moved over to UCLA, he started recruiting me more and then one of his new assistants at UCLA who was at Oregon State before was recruiting me, so UCLA has been coming to my school and has been picking up the recruiting process. Both the coaches are just really great people, I don't have anything negative to say about them as people.

Any other visits lined up for the spring/summer?

David Turner: Probably to Arizona. Arizona has really been picking up their recruiting of Myles and has been trying to get him to come down. Damon Stoudemire when he was at Memphis was recruiting Myles and now that he went over there to Arizona, Sean Miller really wants him to come down for an unofficial visit.

Are there any visits in the fall you are likely to take?

I've got an unofficial approaching to Texas A&M.

David Turner: We've got to trim down his list sometime soon, once we get his list trimmed down before we start thinking about officials. It's hard with having to go out of state for unofficials.

What's the timeframe for cutting the list down?

David Turner: We haven't worked that out yet, we'll just have to sit down with his trainer, his coach and try to decide what's the best timeframe for us and then go for there.

What are the most important factors in the recruitment related to the decision?

Of course, number one is education. I've got a 3.6 GPA so far, and I want to major in psychology, so any school that can offer me that firm academic foundation. I want a great degree to fall back on.

Another thing is development, I really want to get developed in a good NBA preparation program. Last thing, a good strong family structure, I've had a good family structure all my life, we keep a tight circle, so I want a family that's away from my family at home.

How big a deal is the projected depth chart in your decision?

David Turner: We have to make sure he goes to a school where he'll be utilized well, because he's got a good three-point shot, but he also has a good left and right hand hook shot, so he's going to be a stretch four. We're looking for a school that can develop his game in that way, and of course, you want to see him play right away, but that's going to take a lot of work on Myles's part.

Myles, how long do you see yourself wanting to play in college before thinking about the NBA option?

David Turner: There's a lot of competition going into the NBA, and you have to be special. It's not about getting there, it's a marathon, you have to get to that second contract and every year, there's strong competition for that.

Myles understands you need to keep your head strong, your game strong, keep it developing is the only way to have longevity in the NBA, kinda like what Kurt Thomas has done. That's why the NBDL has so many guys trying to get NBA contracts because there is just so much competition there, you have to keep developing and it takes a special person to be able to stay a long time in the NBA. It's going to be hard, but he loves the challenge and he works hard, there's no reason why he couldn't be a one or two year kid.

Going back to Duke's interest, and with them being the new school recruiting Myles, how do you see things progressing in light of your desire to trim his list down at some point in the future?

David Turner: We're gonna let it play out, they are in contact, and they are new, but they are doing the right things.

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