Monday, September 30, 2013
Biancardi's Breakdown: Myles Turner
By Paul Biancardi
The recruitment of No. 2 senior Myles Turner is down to eight schools: Louisville, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Arizona. Turner is planning on making his official visits during the season so he can feel the atmosphere and watch the style of play for each program. His intention is to make a decision during the late signing period.
According to his father, David, no officials have been set up. He was scheduled to visit Kansas for "Late Night in The Phog" on Oct. 4-6, but that will be rescheduled so he can participate in the Team USA development mini-camp.
So, where did Myles Turner come from and what kind of player will one lucky school be getting?
As a rising junior, Turner missed the spring and summer AAU circuit with a broken ankle. Fast forward to the 2013 AAU campaign and Turner established himself as one of the most sought-after prospects in the nation. Turner, who stands 6-foot-11 and wears a size-21 shoe, rose all the way to No. 10 in the ESPN 100, before moving up again, to No. 2 in the most recent rankings. When you come out of nowhere and climb that high, you have some special on- and off-the-court qualities and plenty of potential to support the move.
Myles Turner is an exceptionally gifted big man with a nearly unlimited ceiling.
Here are the keys to Turner's game:
Defense first: When you watch Turner go after a shot attempt, you see the poise and patience he demonstrates, as his jumps are timed to perfection. He not only blocks shots, but he keeps the ball in play. You won't see Turner swat at the ball or try to spike it into the stands. He has had some triple-double games with double-figure blocks. What is so impressive is that he will go outside the paint to block, change and challenge a jump shot, much like Anthony Davis. He is the best shot-blocker in the 2014 class.
Advanced skills: Turner is a highly skilled shooter for his size. He can make 3-point shots with self-confidence and at his size, you don't see that very often. His shooting ability will make him a threat and a difficult matchup for opponents. Players his size normally can't or won't go out that far to defend. His soft touch is not exclusive to the arc, as Turner goes to the elbows and low post to score efficiently. Put him in a ball screen and you can roll him to the rim because he is a great target and finisher -- or pop him as a shooter. His dad spent time with him in the driveway teaching him how to shoot at a young age. "I had Myles keep the ball up over his head early. I didn't want him to throw it up there from his chest," David Turner said.
Another area that makes him special is his passing, especially from the low-post position. He reads the double team and sees the floor well. His hands are secure to catch the ball and his fingertips provide a soft touch on his release. His nimble feet allow him to move quickly in any direction.
Room for growth: We talk about Turner having plenty of upside, which means he has plenty of room to improve and become even more consistent on the floor. One area that needs attention is his left hand at the rim when finishing. To be great at the rim, the ability to use either hand is important. When it comes to posting up on the blocks, the best players learn how to make and maintain contact with their man. It's all about leverage, and the lower you get, the more you are in control. Turner must get lower, with a wider base and with one or two feet in the paint when he catches the ball. He is deceptively strong, and his frame can carry another 20 pounds or more over time, which will enhance his entire game.
What most people don't know is that Turner is a very competitive player and one who is extremely coachable, two vital traits that, along with enormous talent, can bring and sustain success.