On the heels of earning props from various NBA scouts during three days of tryouts for Bo Ryan's World University Games squad, Evan Turner has seen moderate success in the three exhibition games making up the 2009 Serbia International Invitational preceding the start of the actual World University Games slate tipping off July 3rd.
In a game one win over Canada, Turner played just 11 minutes scoring seven points with four rebounds. Again forced to come off the pine, Turner responded in a game two loss against Serbia with team highs of 16 points (6/7 FG) and six boards in 18 minutes of action.
Presumably seeing the error of his ways, Ryan inserted Turner into Monday's starting lineup and he responded with eight rebounds but went 0/6 from the floor and 2/4 from the stripe in a 67-63 win over Russia. Though Turner's shot wasn't falling, Ryan was impressed with ET's effort at the defensive end:
"The guys got it done tonight with hustle opportunities. (Evan) Turner, (Robbie) Hummel and Deon (Thompson), those guys, especially at the end, they were everywhere. Corey (Fisher) and Talor Battle. I just really like the way they stuck their noses in there."
With the exhibition tilts complete, Turner and company open the World University Games on Friday against Finland then Saturday against South Korea. Pending the outcome of those contests, they'll play the second round next Monday and Tuesday with the quarters, semis and championship game set for next Thursday through Saturday.
Whether you care about the WUG or not, it can only help Turner - and Ohio State - to have him participating in the games. With a near static roster from last season, team chemistry is already in place so having Turner and Zisis away from Columbus should not be deemed a handicap as it was when Kosta and Butler weren't on campus leading up to the '07-'08 campaign.
Putting a bow on the recent Mullens talk, BJ and his fellow OKC draftees were introduced to a swarming contingent of Thunder fans on Saturday. Mullens, who will wear #23, shelved any comments comparing himself to Amare, Nowitzki and KG, instead opting to chew some gum and tout how hard he plans to work.
"I know it's a young team. I could come in and I could definitely play a lot of minutes, or whatever the case might be. The only thing that I can control is how hard I work every day, how hard I want it and just getting better and making my teammates better. So, that's what I want to do."
Again, we hope so but we'll believe it when we see it.
As Bob Baptist points out, a possible silver lining to the Mullens saga comes in the form of Matta now having two case studies on why jumping ship after one season and banking on being drafted based largely on potential can lead to sizable financial consequences. Koufos bought into the hype thinking he might be a lottery pick only to fall to #23 while Mullens was thinking he had an outside shot at the lottery or at least no worse than 16th to the Bulls but fell to #24. And this doesn't even consider he projected as a top five pick before suiting up in the Schott.
Looking at the 2009-10 NBA Rookie Salary Scale, Mullens will make roughly $1.94 million over the first two guaranteed years of his deal. If Mullens stayed in school for a year and improved his stock to being hypothetically drafted 10th, he would've have made roughly $3.87 million over the first two guaranteed years according to the 2010-11 NBA Rookie Salary Scale, or basically double what he'll make now. This doesn't even account for 3rd and 4th year options. It's like lighting money on fire.