Ohio State's Turner deserves POY honors for well-rounded dominance
How good is
At one point early on, he throws an inbounds pass in under his own basket, immediately takes the ball back and flies down the baseline for a slam. During one early-second-half span, he feeds teammate
And then there are the jump shots -- all sorts of jump shots. On one, he takes a pass on the wing, makes a crazy spin move to ditch Battle and puts up a floater. Penn State eventually cuts a 17-point deficit down to four with 3:30 left, but you know what's coming next. Two straight possessions, two straight Turner pull-up jumpers. Ballgame.
Final tally: 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two blocks.
Though he makes even the most mundane game exciting, Ohio State's do-everything junior won't win Player of the Year honors on highlights alone.
You have to go back to 2004 to find the last time a point guard, St. Joe's star
It's been a treat this year to watch Turner and Wall do their thing in the open floor, and they're both electrifying players. The difference is, Turner does more things in more areas over the course of 40 minutes.
He averages 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals. Consider: He's a 6-foot-7 point guard who leads his conference in rebounding. Not only that, he's No. 1 in scoring and No. 2 in assists, making him the only Big Ten player in the past 26 years to rank in the top three in all three major categories.
Just for kicks, he's also second in steals, fifth in field-goal percentage (. 538) and eighth in blocked shots (0.9 per game).
And did I mention he's one of just two players in the country (the other, Marshall's
Clearly, the guy's got more than enough credentials to qualify for Most Outstanding Player. We also have certifiable proof why he's the sport's Most Valuable Player.
Ohio State, 24-7, currently sits in first place in the Big Ten. Take away Turner, however, and the Buckeyes are an NIT team. We know this because early in the season, Turner suffered, quite literally, a backbreaking injury.
Ohio State was 7-1 when Turner crashed to the floor following a dunk against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 5, fracturing the second and third lumbar vertebra in his spine. He missed six games, during which the Buckeyes went 3-3, including losses at Wisconsin and Michigan in their first two league games. Since his return, Ohio State has gone 14-3 and is seen as a potential Final Four team.
Turner has some fine complementary players around him in
Wall is akin to what freshman star
Turner plays more the part that his fellow Chicago native,
With that in mind, the player of the year race between Wall and Turner figures to be no easier a decision than an NBA general manager would have right now if he had a choice to sign Rose or Wade. You can't go wrong either way.
But the question here isn't, who's more talented? It's, who's been more outstanding during the 2009-10 season? Turner has scored more, rebounded more, shot better and notched as many steals while tallying slightly fewer assists. No other player in the country does so many different things so well.