Commentary

The majesty of Evan Turner

Without him, Ohio State is great; with him, they're capable of a deep March run

Updated: February 17, 2010, 7:13 PM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesHere's looking at you, kid (and your utter dominance on the court).

Each week, the Inside the Bracket series examines a key game in terms of its March Madness implications. This edition focuses on the Ohio State Buckeyes hosting the suddenly red-hot Purdue Boilermakers this evening.

Thad Matta had to suffer through six games minus double-double machine Evan Turner -- and it takes just a quick glance at the stat sheet to know it had to be six games too many for Matta.

Study the team's numbers without Turner and you'll see why the junior's broken back had Ohio State sweating a possible lost season: in the six games Turner didn't play, Ohio State mustered an average of just 63.8 ppg. In the 20 games with Turner on the court, the Buckeyes are scoring 77.5 ppg, which would lead the Big Ten. (OSU currently ranks third overall.) The team shot 45.9 percent from the floor without Turner. With him the percentage jumps to 50.9 percent, which would rank third in the country. (OSU ranks fifth.)


You know Evan Turner is good, but we'll tell you specifically how valuable he is to the Buckeyes and how the team fits among some of the nation's best, which could come in handy come Tourney time. To get this and all Insider Bracket-related contend, sign up for ESPN Insider today.