"When you're being recruited by Kansas, you're going to be recruited by everyone."
Those are the words of Derek Swafford, head coach of the Sacramento
(CA) High School basketball team. And as they pertain to his star point
guard, 6-foot-3 junior Josiah Turner, they've proven to be themselves
to be right on the money.
Turner's name is a familiar one to West Coast hoops aficionados. Known
for his ideal size for the position and dazzling ball-handling skills,
the one-time Arizona State commit garnered a great deal of attention
last summer from some of the biggest names in college basketball.
This season was a big one for Turner's development as a player. Asked
to shoulder more of the scoring load for the Dragons, the West Coast's
top 2011 point guard rose to the challenge – averaging 28 points per
contest to go along with almost seven assists.
Despite a slow start – dropping six of their first 15 games – the team
sprang to life shortly after the first of the year, starting a march
that ended on the doorstep of a California Division III state
Doubt, it seems, can be a powerful motivator.
"Everybody being doubted by different people," Turner said, when asked
what sparked the Dragons' resurgence. "Everybody picked up their
defense, basically. Picked up their defense and picked up their
intensity in practice. We knew we wanted to go far in the playoffs, so
we had to pick it up."
Individually, it wasn't just the post-season honors that rolled in for
Turner, it was the scholarship offers as well. The list of suitors
vying for the four-star prospect's services now includes the likes of
Kansas, Oregon, Marquette, California, USC, Georgia Tech and Arizona.
It would be a lot for anyone to process, let alone one who is still a
year away from attending his senior prom. After re-opening his
recruitment following a decommitment from Arizona State in July, Turner
is in no great hurry to make a decision.
"I don't have a list, but I like a lot of schools right now," he said.
"I like Kansas, Cal, UCLA. I like Kentucky. I like Arizona. I like a
lot of schools."
For now, he's focused on the upcoming AAU season, and eager for another
chance to showcase his abilities to the multitude of coaches and scouts
always in attendance at the spring and summer tournaments.
Despite the strides his game has taken, he knows there's still plenty
on which he can improve.
"I probably need to work on my off-the-ball defense," Turner said. "I
picked up my on-the-ball defense (this year), so probably just
off-the-ball defense and staying consistent."
Turner's World Opening Up
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