In another year, Texas Longhorn freshman Myles Turner (11.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG at the time of this report) might be among the top three “Diaper Dandies” in the NCAA. But with players like Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (18.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG) Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell (19.4 PPG, 5.2 APG) and Maryland’s Melo Trimble (15.2 PPG) grabbing most of the headlines, Turner is not likely to be named as the nation’s top freshman. However, a better gauge of Turner’s projected ability is a look at NBA Mock Drafts. Turner is listed as a lottery pick by ESPN’s Chad Ford, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman and a number of other outlets.
The upside on Turner is tremendous, and considering the 6’11” power forward is producing while jockeying for minutes with four other Texas bigs considered to be NBA prospects, the freshman is well ahead of the curve. Texas is 14-8 at this juncture of the season, dealing with a very competitive Big 12 schedule—five teams ranked in the Top 25 including No. 8 Kansas and No. 11 Iowa State.
Turner put up some big numbers against lesser teams (26 points, 9 rebounds against David Lipscomb and 25 points, 10 rebounds against St. Francis, PA.) but outside of a 16-point 7-rebound performance in a blowout over West Virginia, Turner hasn’t been a big contributor in Texas’ wins over quality competition. Texas will need to put it together to get a NCAA Tournament bid as they have lost four in a row and are just 3-6 in Big 12 play.
As for Turner, whose shooting touch and range compares favorably to LaMarcus Aldridge, he could be making millions come June if he declares for the draft. As per SB Nation’s Jonathan Tjarks: “No matter what Turner does this season, he’s going to wind up going in the first round of the draft. There are millions of dollars in guaranteed money waiting for him whenever he decides to go pro. If he wants to maximize his draft situation, he might end up staying two seasons, although there’s little chance he stays a third, barring some type of injury.”
So while he may not be at the elite level of an Okafor (unanimously projected No. 1 overall draft pick), a Russell (widely considered No. 2 or No. 3 overall draft pick), or Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns (a projected top five overall draft), Turner has a bright (and wealthy) future ahead of him. Once again as per Tjarks: “As long as he stays healthy, he should play 10+ years in the NBA and make a whole bunch of money.”
Turner might not be the truth yet, but he is the truth waiting to happen.