Paul Turner is a 6'-4" small forward from Westchester St. Joseph's High School. He started out the year on the sophomore team, but his talent was too much to hold back. He was brought up to the varsity level and played at a high level. Illinois has already offered the 2014 prospect a scholarship.
The forward has visited Illinois several times during this past season and liked what he saw.
"I like the atmosphere. I love being there."
He has built a good relationship with the Illinois staff early on in the recruiting process.
"They show a lot of love for their players. I think I could see myself there in the future."
The freshman's lead recruiter is assistant Jerrance Howard. Turner talked about why he relates well with the Illini assistant coach.
"He is young, so we get along well."
They recently had a nice conversation about his play during the high school season and his upcoming summer opportunities. The 2014 wing has complimentary things to say about Illinois coach Bruce Weber as well.
Turner is coached at the high school level by coach Gene Pingatore, who talked about the interest level Illinois has in Turner."
"He was at their Midnight Madness and been to a few games, so they have been in touch quite a bit."
It is very early, but Turner discussed the schools that are actively recruiting him.
"Nevada, Purdue, Illinois, Marquette."
The two schools to step up with offers are Big 10 rivals Illinois and Purdue. Pingatore discussed the overall recruitment of his freshman.
"Right now, Illinois has shown tremendous interest in him. We have gotten inquiries from Purdue. There is going to be a lot of people involved I am sure."
He talked about Turner's play as a freshman for St. Joseph's.
"He improved tremendously as a freshman stepping in there. By the end of the year, he was becoming a dominant player for us."
Turner was happy with his play as a freshman.
"I thought my play was good. I rebounded well."
Pingatore described what Turner's game is all about.
"He is a combo guard that can run the point. He can play the two and shoot it. He is going to be a great defender that has great size. He is an all around player that can be very good."
Turner believes his game is in the mold of a Carmelo Anthony type player with his ability to score from the wing position. He talked about his strengths.
"My mid-range game, going to the basket, and getting my team involved."
"I am excited to get out, play, and have fun with my brothers."
Turner is an athletic wing who is versatile enough to play and guard multiple positions on the floor. He is an explosive scorer with the potential to put up huge numbers. His perimeter shot is excellent, and he drives to the hoop strong off the dribble while finishing strong.
His most impressive move at the Illinois Spotlite was when he crossed his man over from the wing and accelerated to the hoop for an and-1. He hits the offensive glass hard and has the tools to be an effective defender.
The freshman has major upside and has the potential to be a five-star recruit down the road if he continues to progress. He is a major recruiting target for Illinois and will be tracked heavily this spring and summer.