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tBBC Making the List: Evan Turner


Making the List: Evan Turner
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


The Ohio State University is in the NIT. The last time they were in the NIT, 2008, they won it all. That was a thrilling win for us who recall it. They beat the University of Massachusetts 92-85. And even though the score reflects only a seven point difference – the Buckeyes actually dominated that title match.

It seems to me, in the spirit of the Tournaments, that I should pick a player on that winning team for Making the List. That person cannot be anyone other than Evan Turner. This is by no way a reflection of the others on that squad. The Buckeyes were loaded with top talent that year: There was David Lightly, Kosta Koufos, Jamar Butler, and Othello Hunter.

In that Championship game Evan would score 20 points, have six rebounds, four assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. None of those statistics would lead that game for a Buckeye. But that, truly, is a moot point. It is what Evan represented that year to the Buckeyes, and during his stay in Columbus as a whole.

Evan was born in Chicago, Illinois and would be big his whole life (having being born at 10 lbs.). He would be a teammate of fellow NBA player Iman Shumpert on a team in the Eighth Grade. Evan was a spectacular player – gathering notice as early as his sophomore year in High School from Division I Schools who would be salivating in the prospect that he’d be playing for them once his senior season was completed. Schools such as Wisconsin, Indiana, TTUN, *ichigan State, Illinois, Notre Dame, Marquette, and Texas A&M had him in their plans. But his decision came down to the Buckeyes. His father was living in Columbus, Ohio whom he visited loyally every summer since he was ten years old.


Turner as a freshmen averaged 27.1 minutes per game, 8.5 points, and 4.4 rebounds. As the season ended he would be second for the Buckeyes in assists and third in steals. On January 19, 2008 against the Tennessee Volunteers he would record his first double-double on a 20-point, 10-rebound performance. The Buckeyes would win the NIT Championship in his Freshmen Year.


As a sophomore, Turner was named player of the week three times during the 2008–09 Big Ten season: December 8, 2008, February 2, 2009, and February 9, 2009. On February 26, Turner became the only Big Ten player selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as a Top 15 finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. As a guard/forward for the Buckeyes he’d lead the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Evan would also lead the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a sophomore.

Oddly he would not be chosen as a preseason All-Big Ten Conference player, though he would be the only player picked as a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media at the end of the regular season. He would contribute on the 2009 Junior USA World University Championships team, winning a Bronze Medal with a 6-1 record.


This would be the year that a ton of accolades came his way. He would begin the season on the 2009-10 NCAA Division I men’s basketball season preseason second-team All-American list. FOX Sports put him on their preseason All-American fifth team. He would be named on the watch list for the Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year – with 50 other players.

His nickname “The Villain” opened that year with confidence. He recorded the first triple-double by a Big Ten player since January of 2001. It would be the second time ever in the history of The Ohio State University men’s Basketball program (Dennis Hopson being the first). He would be injured his Junior year and sit out nearly two months. He would return by earning his fourth Big Ten Player of the Week award on the same day after leading his team to wins over two ranked conference foes. He would help the Buckeyes this year to winning the Big-Ten Tournament Championship Game with 31 points and being named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.

In his stay in Columbus Evan was a Consensus First Team All-American (2010), 2010 National Player of the Year winner along with the Naismith, Robertson, Wooden, AP, NABC, TSN, and Fox Sports Awards.

And, who can forget this quintessential Evan Turner moment?

What else can be said?

Evan Turner is one of the greatest players ever to don a Scarlet and Gray uniform for the Ohio State University. There simply is no debate. Without question he deserves to be a member of our Making the List that is growing more and more each week. Evan Turner is a star that will be discussed in Buckeye Lore decades from now just as members of that 1960 Championship Team is today.

The post Making the List: Evan Turner appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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