FanPost

Another Evan Turner scouting report..

I know this has been done already on this site more than once. But Evan Turner came to play at my school tonight and I sat in the 8th row to watch, so I figured I may as well throw one more Evan Turner in-person FanPost up.


First of all, Turner most definitely struggled as a scorer tonight. He went 6-15, but until the final two and a half minutes, was 3-12. Against an impossibly small and unathletic Hawkeye team, he seemed disturbingly bothered by the physicality of the game. In the first half, after which Iowa led 25-20 (yes, an Evan Turner-led team had 20 points at halftime against a 2-6 team), Turner was 1-3 from the field with two points. He picked things up slightly in the second half, and with 4:30 to play, had 8 points (he put the pedal to the gas towards the end, and finished with 16). 

There were moments in the second half, however, when you thought Yup, that's why he's an NBA player. He blew right through the defense for layups on a few occasions. But he had two drive-and-layup attempts swatted in embarrassing fashion by Iowa freshman Eric May (who really got under Turner's skin a lot during the game. The kid is a great athlete, built like a linebacker). And he missed too many wide-open jumpshots for my liking. 

Having said all that, it was nice to see him recognize that he was having an off shooting night. He was getting visibly frustrated (contorts his face and puts his arms up after nearly every call against him, got in the faces of Iowa players a few times, had one pretty bad-ass moment where he stared down Eric May), but never went into pissed-off tunnel vision mode, almost always making the sound pass and playing within the system. He really is a smooth ballhandler and decision-maker. He honest-to-god looks like a 6'7", 210 pound point guard, not a wing masquerading as a point. He finished the game with seven assists, and a few of them were highlight-worthy.

Another thing I noticed is that, like many have noted about Rubio, being a ballhandler/playmaker does not go hand-in-hand with being ball-dominant. Evan Turner is not ball-dominant. Throughout the entire game, not once did I think he was overdribbling. In transition, he either bursts past the defense or else almost immediately fires the ball far upcourt to a wing. In the half-court, he initiates every offensive set but probably moves around without the ball just as often as he has it.

Defensively, his length and lateral quickness really make him pretty disruptive. With Ohio State up by 3 under 2 minutes to play, Iowa attempted a long inbounds pass from the baseline to almost half-court. Turner was practically in the corner, and turned and ran out towards the inbounds pass, basically Randy Moss-ing it out of the air and icing the game with a breakaway dunk. 

Lastly, holy crap can the guy rebound. He guards a guy out on the perimeter, and when a shot goes up, swoops in like Batman, snags it, and immediately heads upcourt. It's pretty awesome.

All in all, Turner did a really good job of impacting the game even when he was struggling from the field. His final statline -- 16 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals -- was very Turner-like, even if he didn't really stand out as a star for much of the game. He showed that he'll always be a positive contributor in some ways, and I shouldn't put too much stock into an off-shooting night. But I didn't like that he seemed almost intimidated at times by May's physicality. Bottom line: Turner's game is multifaceted enough, and fits our holes well enough, that I'd endorse him 2nd overall, but am convinced that any potential sentiment in the Front Office that taking Turner over Wall is a good idea needs to be snuffed out immediately.

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