Former Ohio State Star Evan Turner Named to Big Ten All-Decade First Team
Former Ohio State star Evan Turner may have only played in the 2010-19 decade for one season, but the 6-6 swingman delivered enough of an impact to earn a selection to the Big Ten All-Decade First Team on Wednesday afternoon.
The Chicago native, from St. Joseph High School, and 2010 Naismith National Player of the Year was joined on the heralded first team by Draymond Green (Michigan State), Trey Burke (Michigan), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) and Denzel Valentine (Michigan State).
“That 10 years went by fast,” Turner, now 31 years old, told Rick Pizzo during a Big Ten Network interview. “Now we are talking about the All-Decade Team. Sometimes people talk to me about what I did back in college and I think to how I was literally just a kid. It’s like, where did the time go?”
Turner somewhat flew under the radar upon initially arriving to Ohio State, as his 2007 recruiting class also featured McDonald’s All-American Kosta Koufos and Ohio Mr. Basketball Jon Diebler. Nevertheless, he started 30 games that inaugural season and finished second on the team in assists.
He broke through to lead the Big Ten in scoring (17.3 ppg) as a sophomore, when OSU finished 22-11 overall and made the NCAA Tournament. His pinnacle stretch would come the following year, however, when he averaged an all-around line of 20-9-6 (points-rebounds-assists) to take the nation by storm..
Ohio State won Big Ten regular-season and tournament crowns that year behind “ET,” including a 30-point blowout of Minnesota during the title game in Indianapolis. Many folks will long remember his buzzer-beating shot to eliminate rival Michigan in the quarterfinals.
“With what I was doing that season, people started talking about Player of the Year and that stuff,” Turner reflected. “Great moments happen in great years, and I felt like something was going to ultimately solidify it. I remember shooting from half-court in the practice gym at night and thinking, if it ever happens, just react like you knew it was coming.”
Ohio State made the NCAA Sweet 16 that season before Turner won National Player of the Year honors from essentially every major outlet. He was later selected No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and has been in the league ever since competing for six-different franchises.
Turner averaged a career-best 19.4 points for Philadelphia during the 2013-14 campaign, has appeared in eight NBA playoffs and is currently one of four Buckeyes in the NBA (Russell, Mike Conley, Keita Bates-Diop).
All three teams consisted of former Buckeyes, as Aaron Craft and D’Angelo Russell garnered third-team spots while big man Jared Sullinger landed on the second team. The four players by Ohio State gave them more than any other school on the list, which featured 16 total selections (see below).
Ohio State reached No. 1 in the national rankings this past season before eventually finishing with a 21-10 overall record. The program is now preparing for its fourth season under head coach Chris Holtmann.