Turner Remains Happy With Decision

When Ralston Turner transferred from LSU to NC State in the spring he knew he was heading to a region that loves basketball.

When Ralston Turner transferred from LSU to NC State in the spring he knew he was heading to a region that loves basketball.

"Oh, you know right away that basketball is big around here," said Turner, laughing. "I went home this weekend, and I was in the airport coming back and heard two guys talking about sports. One guy was talking about how he went to Texas and football was big there. The other guy just looked at him and said no one comes to North Carolina for football, you come to North Carolina for basketball.

"I know how big basketball is around here."

Turner spent his first two seasons at LSU, playing in 60 games with 59 starting assignments for the Tigers. As a sophomore, Turner averaged 9.1 points per game while hitting .372 (51-of-137) of his attempts from beyond the arc.

As a freshman, Turner led the Tigers in scoring, averaging 12.3 ppg while playing 29.0 minutes a game. He scored in double figures 18 times during his rookie season, including seven straight double figure contests in SEC action. For his efforts, Turner earned All-SEC Freshman Team honors despite missing the first five conference games of the season due to injury.

He considered transferring to a few different schools before eventually picking NC State.

"When I came on my visit, I liked the direction that things are going," he said. "I felt comfortable here. It felt good so I just went with it.

"So far, everything is going great for me."

A major reason why Turner picked NC State was his relationship with Mark Gottfried. Turner was a prep standout at Muscle Shoals (AL) High School, where Gottfried recruited him when he was the head coach at Alabama.

"Coach Gottfried, I've always liked him, ever since I met him," said Turner. "I feel like he's a great coach, and when I came for my visit I felt like the staff was one of the best in the country.

"I think as far as basketball goes it's hard to find a better coach than coach Gottfried. I'm not saying there isn't a coach out there better, but for me, I really like what he does."

Turner will have to sit out this season due to NCAA rules, and he hopes to use the time to expand his game.

"I see myself as a guy that can make shots in the offense," he said. "I'm just a guy that will do whatever coach wants me to do. The coaches are telling me to just do what I do. Go out there and try to make plays. It doesn't have to be just a jumpshot, it can be getting the lane and making passes.

"I'm going to make sure I can get better off the bounce. That's the main thing for me, and also getting my shooting percentages up. With the team, I'm going to help run the offense, and like I said, do whatever coach Gottfried wants me to do, but I'm going to go out there everyday and try to make plays."

NC State enters the season with lofty expectations. Most media outlets have the Wolfpack ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, and after spending time working with the other players Turner believes they can reach their goals.

"I think we've got a chance," he said. "Coach Gottfried always talks about how we have to work hard, but I'm pretty confident the guys will work hard.

"Who knows what will happen? Right now we're going to focus on getting better and the rest will take care of itself."

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