Written by Corbett Smith
Euless Trinity star Myles Turner chooses Texas over Duke, Kentucky, SMU
EULESS – Before making his selection known to the ESPNU audience and the crowd packed into Euless Trinity’s gym, Myles Turner explained that making his college choice was a journey made with his family, and not a process.
Consider one journey complete for the 6-11 center, with another journey just begun.
Turner – a McDonald’s All-American and the top undecided prospect from the Class of 2014 – picked Texas over a myriad offers from several of the nation’s best programs, including Duke and Kansas.
“Texas is just the place for me,” Turner said. “I’m a Texas kid.”
To announce the choice, he turned to his little sister, Mya, who helped open a black box to pull out a burnt orange Longhorns bucket hat, bringing the crowd into a frenzy.
Texas was long considered the favorite for Turner, whose favorite player is former Longhorn Kevin Durant and whose game is a raw facsimile of former Texas and Seagoville star LaMarcus Aldridge.
Turner confirmed his deep-seated interest in the Longhorns, explaining that as a Texas native, staying in-state meant a lot to him.
Turner and his father, David, also talked about how the work ethic of this year’s team was a big draw. The Longhorns had an eight-game improvement in the 2013-14 season, making the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament and insuring that coach Rick Barnes would stay as Texas’ head coach.
“The selling point for us is that they have such a hard-working team,” David Turner said. “To see how they went this year – that’s how [Myles] has come along this whole way, just hard work. So, that blue-collar atmosphere down there is what fit him the best.”
Turner’s journey to become one of the nation’s elite prospects wasn’t typical.
He broke his ankle in the spring of 2012, missing AAU ball in the summer prior into his junior season, a key window for most basketball recruits. Once he hit the AAU circuit in 2013, Turner vaulted up recruiting lists. He was ranked No. 2 in the nation by ESPN and Scout.com, trailing only Duke signee Jahlil Okafor.
Equally adept in the post or facing the basket, Turner averaged 18.1 points, 12.2 rebounds, 6.8 blocks and 3.5 assists during his senior season at Trinity, named the District 6-5A MVP.
ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi compared Turner to Aldridge, and said his signing made Texas the favorite in the Big 12 next season.
“He is going to put this program at another level,” Biancardi said. “He will be the face of the program. He is not Kevin Durant, but he will have a Kevin Durant-like effect at Texas.”
Dallas/Fort Worth-area players on the projected 2014-15 Texas roster
Player / Pos. / Class / High School
Brandon Allums / F / Jr. / Plano West*
Demarcus Holland / G / Jr. / Garland Naaman Forest
Prince Ibeh / C / Jr. / Garland Naaman Forest
Myles Turner / C / Fr. / Euless Trinity
Kendal Yancy / G / So. / Richardson Berkner