Turner Talks About Verbal To Ohio State

Bucknuts.com basketball correspondent Kyle Lamb caught up with Illinois standout Evan Turner at the recent ABCD Camp. There, Turner talked about why he selected Ohio State over Illinois. We also have a link to video highlights of the newest Buckeye in action. Click here for more.

Most basketball players select a school for the coach, the academics or the comfort level with the program. Some just want to stay close to home, win or get to the NBA.

Then there are those few who select a school because their buddies are going there. Those are the isolated cases as most players may only take that into account the very least bit.

But then, there's Evan Turner.

The 6-6 wing forward from Chicago St. Joseph chose a school for a variety of reasons which included but were not limited to being close to family, academic support, facilities and the coaching staff.

But when he was having a hard time selecting between Ohio State and Illinois, it was a group of Buckeye commitments that won him over.

"After I talked to all of the recruits at the NBA Camp, that's when I realized Ohio State is where I wanted to be," Turner told Bucknuts.com following a game at the ABCD Camp. "They all were really cool to hang out with and I knew I would fit in well with all of them. It was like a family. They all talked to me and made me feel important at the NBA Camp, and that is when I decided on Ohio State."

Turner is the No. 49 prospect in the class of 2007 in the latest ScoutHoops.com summer rankings.

For much of June, Turner was believed to be headed to Illinois over Ohio State and Wisconsin. But the Buckeyes continued to pursue him until he surprised them with a commitment the day before 6-8 Alex Tyus was scheduled to make an unofficial visit to Ohio State – possibly committing while he was there.

"It made me more sure of myself before he (Tyus) visited," Turner said of how the possibility of Tyus committing to Ohio State impacted his decision. "Before that, I guess I was still questioning if I wanted to go there and if that was the decision I was going to make, but when I knew he was about to visit and possibly commit, I realized I wanted to go there and I felt like I was ready to do it."

Turner said that even when Illinois was leading, he was not completely sure that was where he was going to go.

He was back and forth until getting back from the NBA Camp. At the camp, Ohio State commitments Kosta Koufos, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale were in his ear the entire time and he said they really clicked.

"That really meant a lot to me," Turner recalled. "They all were cool to hang out with.

"When I came back from NBA Camp I knew I wanted to do it (go to Ohio State). It seemed like a last second decision, but I knew it was the right thing to do."

Although Turner was only on the Ohio State campus one time for a visit, he didn't need any longer.

The surprise commitment didn't require a return trip to Columbus as Turner had plenty of familiarity with the area.

"I have been to Columbus every year since I was 9 years old," he explained, "so I know a lot about it."

His AAU and high school teammate, Demetri McCamey, did give Illinois a little bit of good news.

Last week, McCamey committed to the Illini leaving Turner happy to see things work out like they did.

"I'm happy for him," Turner said. "That's where he wanted to go, so that's cool. It's great that we'll be playing against each other."

Turner said deep down, he had been interested in Ohio State for several months.

"I was always thinking about them," he explained. "I really like Illinois, but I never stopped thinking about Ohio State."

He talked about the reasons his interest was piqued.

"It was the right place for me," Turner surmised. "It was the coaching staff. I like the coaching staff. Obviously they can make me better. Their recruiting class was at the NBA camp and I met all the kids coming in with me and they were cool. I've got a lot of family in Columbus so I'm comfortable there and I have a support system.

"I just felt really comfortable with Ohio State," he concluded.

Click the link below for video highlights of the latest OSU verbal commitment:

Evan Turner video blast


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