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Decision day comes for KU recruit Myles Turner

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 9:49 p.m.

LAWRENCE – Kansas target Myles Turner will sit in front of a camera at 3 p.m. Wednesday and unveil his college announcement in a televised ceremony. There will be a 7-foot high school senior, some specialized programming on ESPNU, and a lot of intrigue.

There will likely be hats.

Turner, a 7-foot center from Euless, Texas, is a consensus top-10 prospect in the class of 2014 and the last unsigned McDonald’s American in the country. That makes him a scarce and wanted commodity in college basketball circles.

The choice could be Kansas, which made a final list schools that also includes Duke, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas and Texas A&M. But in the high-stakes worlds of college basketball recruiting, where one decision can change a program’s fortunes, concrete information can often be scant.

College coaches, in accordance with NCAA rules, cannot publically comment on specific recruits. Turner has attempted to remain non-committal while doing interviews this month at the McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic all-star games. All coaches involved will likely learn Turner’s choice when he announces on television.

While Kansas and Texas appeared to emerge as favorites earlier this year, Turner attempted to shoot down that theory in early April.

“It’s definitely a lot more open than that,” Turner said at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago. “A lot of people assume that it’s just Kansas and Texas, because it’s close to home, it’s the Big 12. But I’m definitely looking at all my options. … I don’t even know where I’m going yet.”

Still, Texas is believed to be the slight favorite heading into decision day. Turner has expressed an interest in staying close to his parents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area while following in the footsteps of his favorite player — former Texas star Kevin Durant.

While Turner does not possess the talent or cache of former Kansas standout Andrew Wiggins — who also waited until the spring to commit — his decision could alter the Big 12 race. The Jayhawks will likely be favored to win their 11th straight Big 12 title after adding McDonald’s All-Americans Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre to the fold, but the Longhorns are projected to be a top-10 team after returning their entire roster. Either program, of course, would welcome a 7-foot rim-protector to the rotation.

“Myles Turner can impact the game with his shot-altering and blocking ability. His timing is excellent and his wing span is enormous,” said Paul Biancardi, an ESPN recruiting analyst and a former coach at Wright State. “Offensively, it’s his face-up game, with range that extends out to the arc, that produces his scoring. His low-post game and his overall body strength are under construction (but) Turner has ascended among the nation’s best.”

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