When Evan Turner decided to leave Ohio State a year early and declare for the 2010 NBA Draft, I don’t think it took anyone by surprise. After all, he is the reigning John Wooden Award winner which goes out annually to the best college basketball player in the nation. While no one is questioning his decision to leave school a year early, there is some debate as to where the former Ohio State Buckeye will be playing professionally for the next few years. First though, let’s take a look at Turner’s college stats, his strengths and weaknesses, and where he’s likely to go in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Evan Turner’s College Accolades and Statistics
Last season as an Ohio State Buckeye, Evan Turner puzzled defenses all season long, averaging 20.4 points per game and 6.0 assists per game on his way to numerous awards, including the John Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Award. Not only was he a game changer because of his scoring ability, but he was a force to be reckoned with on the boards, averaging 9.2 rebounds per game. Standing at 6′ 7″ he split time between the guard and forward positions, and it’s still up to question where he’ll play in the NBA. Many compare him to Portland’s guard Brandon Roy (6′ 6″ 210 lbs) and a younger Grant Hill, who stands at 6′ 8″ 225 lbs. Whatever team drafts him can hope he’ll become as good of a player as Roy or Hill.
Evan Turner’s Strengths
Evan Turner may be as good as any player in the 2010 NBA Draft class, but if there’s one thing Evan Turner possesses over his draft counterparts, it is his marvelous ball handling skills for a man his size. To see a 6′ 7″ basketball player moving through defenses so gracefully while dribbling isn’t anything short of poetry in motion. His 6.0 assists per game was good enough for 2nd in the Big 10 last season, and his height helps him see the whole floor effectively while distributing the ball to teammates. Also, his rebounding instincts and physical strength make him a great threat down low in the post. Evan Turner has great intangibles too, including his leadership abilities, which was evident by leading a short-staffed Ohio State squad to a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Evan Turner’s Weaknesses
There aren’t too many weaknesses to see with Evan Turner without nitpicking, but like every other prospect he’s not perfect. The two most notable weaknesses in Evan Turner’s game is his sub-par shooting range. Don’t get me wrong, there may not be a better mid range jump shooter in the draft this year, but his three-point shooting is going to have to see a little improvement and a lot more consistency for it to be efficient in the NBA. Turner was often called upon by Ohio State to take over games, which he often did successfully. However, he sometimes struggled to maintain ball control, and turned the ball over a bit too much, even though he’s one of the best passers and dribblers in the draft. These are two things that are easy to fix though, and with some good coaching he’ll be able to break these habits.
Evan Turner in the 2010 NBA Draft
There’s been some debating whether Evan Turner or John Wall will be the number one overall pick to the Washington Wizards, but most agree that Wall will in fact be the number one pick. That being said, it is very likely that Evan Turner will be the best available pick which means he’ll more than likely end up being a Philadelphia 76er, barring any blockbuster trade (and we all know how the NBA Draft and trades are, so who knows?)