A Wanted Man

Evan Turner is a wanted man. Regarded as one of the top players in Class of 2007, a host of high major programs are already tracking the 6'6 wing.

Evan Turner is a wanted man. Regarded as one of the top players in Class of 2007, a host of high major programs are already tracking the 6'6 wing.

Starring for the Illinois Wolves on the AAU circuit, Turner showcases a variety of skills every weekend.

"I think my role is to be versatile," he told Pack Pride. "I do whatever we need to win. I play defense, rebound, break my man down if I need to score, and just keep playing hard. It's worked out well for me pretty good and our team."

A standout for Westchester (IL) St. Joseph's, the same high school that produced Isiah Thomas, Turner averaged 16 points and six rebounds as a junior. St. Joseph's plays in one of the best leagues in Illinois, but the competition Turner faces each weekend on the AAU circuit has allowed him to impress college coaches while also improving his game.

"Playing AAU has helped because it shows my versatility," he said. "At 6'6, I'm able to showcase my skills and play defense. I get to hold my own or do better against the top players in the country."

He has certainly done that. A jack-of-all-trades, Turner already has garnered offers from Wake Forest, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia, Miami, Indiana, Notre Dame, Southern Illinois, NC State, Ohio State, and Depaul.

The recent evaluation period led to a few of those offers, but he was very close to being off the market. Turner pointed out that he was close to verbaling to NC State before the Wolfpack's coaching change and open periods.

"I think I was close to committing to NC State," he said. "I was suppose to go visit there over Memorial Day weekend, and if I liked it I was going to commit. Now with the changes in coaching there and after receiving even more interest through the contact periods, I haven't started to narrow my list."

What did Turner like about NC State?

"I just like the ACC and they showed that they wanted me," he said. "I'm not saying other schools didn't, but I've been a fan of them and I liked how they played. I thought it would be a real good opportunity to play in that conference against some of the best teams in the country."

Turner left the door open for NC State to continue pursuing him under new head coach Sidney Lowe.

"Of course, I would listen to them," he said. "I still haven't narrowed down my list, but I haven't talked to them or anything like that."

As it stands now, expect Turner to finish out the AAU season, take some unofficial visits, and prepare for a late summer decision. He claims no leaders and can't even come up with a top five given the heavy interest he's receiving.

"I'm not even sure about a leader," Turner said. "I like Illinois, and I like a couple of other schools. I'm not sure if I can do a top five until I know more about the schools. I can't narrow it down until I know enough about more of them.

"I know I'm going to commit before the summer. The latest would be August. I just want to get it squared away before my senior year. Everything should be cool by then."

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