In case you missed it, USA Basketball announced the members of its 2009 World University Games hoops squad late last week and with that comes news Evan Turner has earned the opportunity to represent his country in Serbia early next month.
Turner claimed a spot on the team after three days of impressive workouts in Colorado. He was so impressive in fact that when Seth Davis polled roughly three dozen NBA types in attendance to see which player was the best pro prospect, the overwhelming majority gave Turner the love.
Those NBA cronies reportedly gushed over the midrange game he's shown at OSU but wanted to see more from the three point line. As Turner noted, and as we saw last season, Turner can hit the triple but often looked for a higher percentage look off the bounce. As it relates to OSU next season, I could care less about how many threes he jacks up (though it's good to know he's shooting 200 per day). He just needs to keep driving the lane while improving his ball handling and care for possessions. If he does that, he'll likely earn Big Ten POY honors that eluded him last season.
Considering what he showed us this season and the steps he's taking to improve his game it's pretty clear this will be his last season in the Scarlet and Gray so make sure you don't use the football hangover as an excuse to miss watching one of the easiest hoopsters to root for in my 20 some years of legitimately watching OSU hoops.
As it stands, Draft Express already has him listed as the 7th pick in the 2010 Draft. Mark me down as an instant fan of whichever team is lucky enough to draft such a class guy and emerging complete player. Oh, in case you're wondering, Wil Buford is projected 28th.
The thought of losing Turner and Buford before they give Matta four years is painful but two things make it easier to swallow. One, we've been there so many times before, as fans we're almost numb to the fact guys leave early every year. Two, the future is incredibly bright thanks to a 2010 class billed as arguably the best in the country.
After holding his own in France at the World Basketball Tournament, Jared Sullinger earned 1st Team honors at the NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. Scouts Inc guru Reggie Rankin took it a step further calling Sullinger the player most likely to challenge Harrison Barnes as their top ranked player in the '10 class. Recent PG commit Aaron Craft also garnered some props for his defensive prowess, a continued theme that I'm pleased to read.
Finally, the NBA draft is set for Thursday and still nobody seems to know where B.J. Mullens might land. He worked out for the Sixers this past Saturday -his 8th workout in 9 days - shortly after he supposedly tweeted the Bulls were going to take him with the 16th pick and (temporarily) canceled plans to workout for other teams. The Sixers don't seem to be a good fit and various reports speculate the Pistons might draft Mullens with the 15th pick. Call me crazy but doesn't BJ look like he could've been born and raised in Detroit?