CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Most of the top players in the basketball Class of 2014 have been labeled as such for almost two years now. That's what makes Myles Turner one of the most talked-about prospects on the opening day of the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
The 6-foot-11 Euless (Texas) Trinity center has been the talk of the spring following his impressive performances at a number of events, including the Under Armour Invitational in May.
Turner picked up where he left off Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus, often dominating his first game at the NBPA Top 100 Camp with his defensive and rebounding prowess.
"It was a good first game for me," Turner said. "I was having fun out there. There are some really good players here, so I'm excited to compete against them and see how I match up."
Turner is currently unranked, but that is certain to change in the days to come. He has landed offers from Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and USC, among others. Programs like Duke, Kentucky, Stanford, St. John's, Vanderbilt and UCLA have recently jumped into the mix with high interest.
"Coach (John) Calipari has been talking to my dad, and I've been texting with a couple of their coaches," Turner said. "... They haven't seen me that much yet, but they said they'll definitely be watching me in July.
"From what I understand in their conversations with my dad, they really like my ability to defend the rim and my ability to play outside and shoot, too."
If that sounds familiar to the Big Blue Nation, so does Turner's back story. Since his freshman year, he has experienced growth spurts from 6-4 to 6-8 and from 6-8 to almost 7 feet to become one of the nation's most sought-after big men.
Asked if he's drawn some comparisons to former UK All-American Anthony Davis, Turner said: "I suppose there are some similarities there, especially with my ability to block shots and defend the rim."
Like those players at the same stage in their development, Turner said he's focused on adding strength to his frame and developing his low-post offensive game this summer.
"I'm working on my whole arsenal," he said. "I really like Kevin Durant's game. I know I'm bigger and probably won't play as much on the wing as him, but I want to work on those aspects of my game."
Turner considers himself "just a fan of the game" and noted that he watches all the college basketball he can. "If I'm not playing or at an event, I'm watching." He cited Kentucky as one of the teams he always enjoys watching. "Especially that (2012) team that won the championship. I loved how they played."
He doesn't currently list a favorite or a group of leaders, but is hopeful to address that this summer.
"At the end of July, I hope to cut my list down to about 10 schools," Turner said.
Among the unofficial visits he's had so far, Turner said Arizona and Oklahoma State "really stood out."
Asked what some of the key factors will be for a school to make his list, Turner said: "I'm definitely looking for a tight circle, a family. I want a home away from home, so to speak, and of course a place where I can develop for the NBA. That's my No. 1 goal. But I also want to be a counselor. I want to major in counseling and psychology, so if a school can offer a good counseling/psychology major and help me with that goal, that would be a big factor."
Don't underestimate the academic side of his eventual decision. On a scale of 1-10, Turner says the education factor is "At least a 9. It's very important to me because you never know what will happen in the future. You may get injured and never play again. You have to have a plan for the future."
And who has impressed him so far, academically?
"Stanford, so far, probably has the best academics I've seen," Turner said. "Also Rice. Princeton. They've recruited me a little bit. But I know Stanford has probably the No. 2 or No. 3 psychology department in the world, so that's a big factor with me."
Some have suggested he is unlikely to play too far from his Texas home, but Turner shot that notion down.
"My parents have always raised me to be very independent," he said "Of course, they're going to want me to stay close (to home) but they say ultimately the decision is up to me. Whatever I feel is best for me, that's what they say to go with... It really isn't that much of a factor."
Turner's stock soaring, hearing from UK
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