Elston Turner, Jr. - Revealed

For Husky fans, uncovering information about 2008 Washington commit, Elston Turner, Jr. has been an effort in futility - Until now. Fear not Dawg fans - the clouds have parted, and Dawgman.com is happy to report that Coach Lorenzo Romar and his staff have found themselves another dandy - as if there was ever any doubt.

Turner was a relative unknown to Husky fans when he committed last summer. Hailing from a region bursting with high-profile, top-drawer talent such as Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson and Brandon Jennings, Turner quickly got lost in the shuffle.

In the absence of the recruiting microscope likely due to his early commitment, Turner fell off the radar after turning heads early his sophomore season, and his national rankings took a similar turn. Playing AAU ball with Southern California's Pump-n-Run Elite, Elston was the odd man out in a deep rotation that included future UCLA Bruins Holiday and Anderson, and his play suffered as a result.

"I started off playing with Pump-n-Run Elite and things just didn't really work out for me," Turner explained to Dawgman.com recently. "So I switched back to my old team (Play Hard, Play Smart/ Nor Cal Pharaohs).

"They've got so many great players," he added. "I think Jrue Holiday is the best player in our class and then with a bunch of players coming up like the Wear Brothers and Reeves Nelson, everything looked good, but there's only one ball.

"Off the court they were really nice, but on the court I just wasn't feeling it."

Turner returned to a talented combined roster of Play Hard, Play Smart/ Nor Cal Pharaohs squad, where he was immediately given the reigns at point guard. He emerged as their floor general as well as leading scorer. "I wasn't really feeling it, but now things are a lot better," said the 6-foot-5 guard. "I know the guys I'm playing with now because I've been playing with them for so many years, and I'm in the flow."

If finding the flow was all it took for Turner to soar again, than somebody hooked Turner to a fire hydrant. During the Reebok Summer championship in Las Vegas last month, Dawgman.com witnessed Turner go off, averaging over 25 points in three games over the weekend. Radars and rankings be damned.

Though not a spectacular athlete, Turner's versatile game draws comparisons to former UCLA Bruin star Aaron Afflalo. With sensational handles for a guy built more like a small forward than a point guard, Turner drew raves over that weekend for his steady composure and unflappable poise at the point guard position. At 6-foot-5, the senior-to-be with an NBA pedigree offers a mismatch against smaller point guards offensively, though keeping up with smaller point guards on the other end is something he has had to work hard on.

"I've been trying to get quicker so I can guard the smaller point guards because on my high school team (Roseville) I play point guard," he explained after dropping 27 against the Arizona Magic. "I'm just trying to get used to guarding smaller guys and working on my athleticism.

"The (Husky) coaches say they're going to play me at the one and two."

Elston also possesses a deadly three-point shot that his smaller opponents in Vegas seemed powerless to stop. Jamming him on defense only forced him to put the ball on the floor, where he used his size advantage to get to the basket. Therefore, opposing guards had to play him straight up, creating plenty of open shots - which he knocked down with ease.

Speaking of size advantage, Turner's work in the weight room hasn't go unnoticed either.

"I've been lifting weights with my dad a lot," he shared, regarding his well-sculpted frame. Turner is built stockier than most kids his age, with solidly built legs that look a little out of place when compared to the toothpick calves of most of his teammates.

Turner's conditioning will move to Houston this fall as his Father has recently taken an assistant coaching job with the Houston Rockets.

"I'm moving to Houston but I'm not sure what school I'm going to yet, he said, "But I've been talking to a couple of coaches and we're moving at the end of August so we need to figure it out pretty soon."

Turner also dished on his backcourt mate-to-be Isaiah Thomas, who was playing at a gym a couple miles down the road in Vegas.

"I've talked to Isaiah a little bit," said Turner. "We got together at the RBKU a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't played with him yet.

"I've seen him though," he said, with the same big grin that characterized the entire conversation. "He's a good point guard. From what I've seen, if you're open, he'll get it to you, and he's a great scorer too so it should be fun playing with him."

Husky fans are going to be the ones grinning when Turner hits the court in 2008.


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