Turner may be on the way out

Tigers' sophomore guard has been granted a release by new coach Johnny Jones, but the door remains open for him to return. After leading LSU with 12.3 points a game as a freshman, Turner's scoring average dipped to 9.1 in 2011-12.

For now anyway, LSU sophomore swingman Ralston Turner's future at LSU is up in the air.

The school released a statement Wednesday evening that the 6-foot-6 Turner has been granted a release "that would allow him to weigh other options regarding his basketball future."

"Upon my arrival about three weeks ago, in my initial meeting with Ralston he indicated that he had previously discussed with Coach Trent Johnson that he might consider transferring from LSU," Tigers coach Johnny Jones said in a statement released by LSU. "I told him that we would get together to discuss that at the end of the semester and that if he wished he would be granted permission to explore other opportunities.

"I have encouraged him to explore other options with the opportunity to return provided he is 100% an LSU Tiger."

The only restriction on Turner's potential transfer is that will not be granted an unconditional release to another SEC school, which is customary in all major conferences. Jones said in a statement released by the LSU media relations office.

PackPride.com, the Scout.com site that covers North Carolina State, reported Wednesday that Turner will visit the Raleigh school this weekend. Former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried is the Wolf Pack coach and Turner is a Muscle Shoals, Ala., native.

"I have been given my release and I will be taking a visit (to another school)," Turner said in the LSU statement Wednesday. "That's all. I didn't say I was 100% leaving (LSU). It's something I have thought about for a while and Coach Jones is allowing me to do it. I am going to take a visit and when it's over I will weigh my options."

It makes sense that Turner might seek a fresh start after he averaged 9.1 points a game in 2011-12, down from his team-best 12.3 as a freshman when he was voted to the All-SEC freshman team.

Since his arrival, Jones has signed two players similar in size and position to Turner: 6-6, Shavon Coleman and 6-6 Shane Hammink. Coleman is a transfer from Howard College and is expected to vie for playing time and likely a starting job right away.

There are currently seven scholarship players on LSU's roster, including Turner. Coleman and Hammink were joined this week by another transfer from Howard College, power forward Calvin Godfrey. Former John Curtis guard Malik Morgan signed a national letter of intent with the Tigers last November.

With those four on the way, and if Turner stays, LSU would have 11 scholarships filled and two left to give.

Jones did not return phone messages and Turner also did not respond to efforts for a comment.

LSU statement on Ralston Turner

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