Turner talks Okafor, Duke, and recruiting

Fresh off being named to the McDonald's All-American Game, the nation's No. 2 overall prospect says he's still being recruited by the Blue Devils - both coaches and players.

Myles Turner had a chance to sit down with USA Today (link) for a hosted chat earlier this week. The five star prospect, who is ranked as the second best player in the class of 2014, spoke on a number of topics of note to Duke fans, including what the Blue Devils are doing on the recruiting trail.

"I really like Coach K and the history Duke has with producing NBA talent," said Turner of the Blue Devils. "I could definitely play alongside another big man. In college and the next level that's what I'll have to do."

The big man in question, of course, is Duke commit and top overall prospect Jahlil Okafor. The Chicago big man has, according to Turner, been working on making a recruiting pitch aimed at uniting the two talented front court players at the next level.

"[He's been recruiting me] pretty hard. He sends me texts every now and again, and then he mentions me in articles saying he wants us to play together."

Later, Turner added his thoughts on the ability of he and Okafor to play together.

"I've been hearing that a lot, and it's starting to become easier to believe. I don't limit myself to one position, and I feel like our games are compatible."

Last month we polled the experts at Scout.com who have scouted both players extensively over the past few seasons to see how they viewed the potential pairing:

Scout's Brian Snow seemed to find the pairing somewhat unworkable:

"Honestly I don't think the two of them would really work well together, and it would force Duke to play zone on the defense end and would clog up their offense on that side as well. Turner and Okafor don't necessarily play alike, but I also don't think they would complement each other well. Neither moves their feet that well laterally, and that would cause major issues in ball screen defense, and then with opponents likely to go small it would spread them out in a way on defense that wouldn't be beneficial. Both can only play one position on both sides of the floor, and that position is center."

Meanwhile, Josh Gershon believed the possibility had a fair amount of potential:

"From an offensive standpoint, that duo would obviously be extremely difficult to stop inside. Okafor is likely a guy that is going to command a double, and he's too good of a passer to have someone of Turner's size and ability that nearby, not to mention the rest of the players on the court for Duke, who will be more than capable of hitting the open shot."

"On defense, Duke would be a terrific defensive rebounding and shot blocking team, but I do worry about how the Blur Devils would match up with a face up four, who neither Okafor or Turner is suited to guard. Further, any team with more than three three-point shooters on the court at the same time would create a mismatch problem."

Finally, Rob Harrington formed an opinion somewhere between Snow and Gershon:

"I think they'd compliment each other very well in terms of intended style — given that Turner prefers to face the rim — but the actual pairing of the two would post significant defensive issues for Duke. Neither guy can defend at all on the perimeter, and as such I think that duo could get exploited."

"That said, Turner would give the team a shot-blocking presence that Okafor does not. And offensively, he could play from 8-12 feet away and give Okafor the required space to dominate inside. I think the offense would improve significantly with Turner in the game, but ideally he'd pair with a physical, mobile forward rather than a full-time center."

While the opinions vary at this point, the fact that Turner has not yet set up an official visit to Duke, stating that such a visit is still in the works.

"At this point, yes I still plan on taking a visit to Duke," Turner told his audience. "I'll make a decision in the late signing period, but I don't have a date yet."

Turner defines his final list of choices as Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas.

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