Turner Turns Page After State Title Run

Bloomington - Less than 48 hours after helping lead Bloomington South to the state title, Spencer Turner was back in the gym getting ready for the AAU season. Turner talks about AAU basketball, his focus this summer, and some heavy interest from one Big Ten school as of late...

Bloomington – Spencer Turner didn't give himself a whole lot of time to enjoy Bloomington South's state championship run.

All of about 24 hours.

After scoring 10 points to help South top Ft. Wayne Snider March 27 for the Class 4A state title, the Panthers' sophomore shooting guard celebrated that night, relaxed on Sunday, and then returned to the gym on Monday to begin lifting, shooting, and preparing for a promising spring and summer AAU season with the Indiana Elite AAU squad.

Turner will team up with the likes of Marshall Plumlee, Cody Zeller, Jalen Packer and Matt Carlino on an Indiana Elite One squad that is made up primarily of 16-year-olds who will be playing up for most of the tournaments this season. The group got together in Bloomington last weekend to practice, and they'll open the AAU season this weekend in Indianapolis at the IndyBall tournament.

"That's going to help us, make us tougher," Turner said about playing up for most of the events this summer. "There will also be more college coaches at the 17-and-under games. I think this is what we need – we'll be playing against bigger, taller, and tougher kids."

While the additional exposure from playing in the 17-and-under age group will be welcomed by Turner, he's also hoping that those on-lookers will start to see some new elements in his game. A 47 percent 3-point shooter this past season for Coach J.R. Holmes squad, Turner has plans on becoming known for more than just his long-range shooting.

That's why Turner was in the weight room lifting two days after South's state championship game, and why he's working on a lot more than just his perimeter shot.

"Everyone knows I can shoot, but I don't want to be known as just a shooter," Turner said. "I want to be known as an all-around player. I need to work on my quickness, my defense, my rebounding, ball handling, all of those things.

"It's been improving, but I'd like for it to improve more."

While improvement in those areas will make Turner an even more coveted recruit, he's already getting significant interest from plenty of Midwestern schools. Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Notre Dame are among the programs that have either had Turner on campus for unofficial visits or been sending mail regularly.

Wisconsin, in particular, has been following Turner closely. Badger assistant coach Gary Close has been to Bloomington to see Turner play during the regular season and was also on hand for some of Turner's games during the state tournament run. Turner talked with the Badger staff last week and they're looking to get him back on campus for another visit soon.

"I really like Wisconsin – I told Coach Close that I really like the way they play," Turner said. "He said they don't have five or six McDonald's All-Americans on their team. They're bunch of kids that go out and play hard, try hard, and win games. I told him that's what I'm looking for."

Turner added that he sees those same type of attributes in teams like Purdue and Indiana as well, a pair of in-state schools that have had Turner on campus for unofficials this past season.

"A team like Purdue, they didn't have all the talent in the world, but they can still compete with UConn," Turner said. "They're smaller, but they have all the heart. Same with Indiana – they have a lot of heart. That's the kind of team I'm looking for."

While Close has clearly made an impression on Turner, the Badger assistant also told the Bloomington South sophomore that he's well aware that it's not easy to lure Indiana players out of state when the bigger in-state programs are also interested.

Turner, meanwhile, said that it would be difficult for him to leave the state if an Indiana, Purdue or Notre Dame ultimately offers.

"I'd love to stay close to home," said Turner, who added that his parents have told him they'll relocate to wherever he winds up playing in college. "It would be great to stay here in Indiana, stay close to my house, have someone to do my laundry for me. But it would also be great to go somewhere like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, something like that. All are great campuses and great coaches.

"Wherever I go I know it will be a great choice."


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