First, a quick rundown on star basketball recruit Myles Turner: A 6-foot-11 center from Euless, Texas, Turner is the top uncommitted prospect in the high school class of 2014. He is still keeping seven schools –- Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, Texas and Texas A&M –- in consideration and will announce his decision during an ESPNU special on April 30.
Any of those programs would love to add Turner for next season. If scouts’ breathless adulation of Turner over the past six months is any indication, he will be a very good college basketball player, even if he only plays one season before leaving for the NBA. At the very least, Turner is the type of player that will command a lot of attention. His presence alone guarantees his team’s basketball season will be more interesting, if not more successful.
It’s not hard to guess where sports writers at the newspapers of each of Turner’s final schools want him to play next season. Most of them, one would assume, would prefer he pick the school they attend. Evan Berkowitz of The Daily Texan seems to have a different opinion. In a column published earlier this week, Berkowitz outlined why he believes Turner should NOT choose the Longhorns.
Some reports have Turner leaning toward Texas — he even tweeted admiration of the school last week. But if I were Turner, I would take the nod of recent Texas high school greats and spurn the Longhorns.
Citing a football-focused culture, coach Rick Barnes’ comparative shortcomings as a developer of talent and what he believes is a lackluster atmosphere at the school’s home court, the Frank Erwin Center, Berkowitz concludes his column by asking whether Texas is the “best place” for Turner.
Close proximity to home and following the path of his favorite player Kevin Durant are compelling reasons for Turner to attend Texas. But, with the wealth of experience he could gain elsewhere, are the Longhorns really the best place for Turner to play in college?
We should all salute Berkowitz for his objectivity. Anyone could have written a column explaining the reasons Turner SHOULD pick Texas. Instead, Berkowitz went out of his way to explain why Turner is better off choosing one of his other finalists. While it seems Berkowitz has Turner’s best interests in mind, here’s guessing most Texas basketball fans’ interpretation of the column won’t be so charitable. If Turner does not choose the Longhorns, Berkowitz will probably have some not-so-friendly emails to respond to.