With the Texas Longhorns underwhelming 2014-15 campaign finally put to rest after Rick Barnes’ 20-14 club entered the offseason by way of a 56-48 second round NCAA Tournament loss to the Butler Bulldogs, the question of whether or not the talented freshman Myles Turner will declare for the 2015 NBA Draft now becomes one of heightened interest.
Myles Turner on possibly going pro: "I refuse to answer that question." He was clearly upset about the loss.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) March 19, 2015
Turner, a 6’11" big man that can play either position in the paint is projected as a consensus lottery pick in the upcoming draft, which would seemingly be enough to convince any kid with his potential to take an early exit from college and achieve their dreams as a pro. But Turner still has plenty of time to make a decision before this year’s April 26 deadline to declare for the NBA Draft, and nobody -- not even Turner’s father David Turner – has any insight as to what the former No. 2 overall ESPN recruit has planned for his future on the hardwood yet, via Matt Wixon of the Dallas News:
"We’re waiting right now," David Turner said Friday afternoon. "He’s still dealing with the loss of the last game."
"He loves UT so much," David Turner said. "We’ll discuss it and weigh the options."
In what could end up having been his only season at Texas, Turner was third on the team in scoring with 10.1 per game, while he led the Longhorns in rebounds with 6.5 per game and led the entire Big 12 in shot rejections with 2.6 per game. The culmination of these efforts on both ends of the floor earned Turner the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award.
If you asked 10 different people what they feel Turner should do, you would likely get an even split on whether he should return in the hopes of developing his game and aiding Texas in pursuing a more successful season or joining an NBA team with a lottery pick that could use his help right out of the gates. Turner has shown glimpses of the star caliber talent many believed he would become for Texas in short spurts, but the consistency was simply never there. I think it’s safe to assume nearly every Texas fan would love to see Turner take the route of the former Longhorns star, LaMarcus Aldridge, and come back for a second season, polish his game to where it’s something that makes every NBA scout salivate and enter the league with a higher draft stock and more developed game that will allow Turner to be effective from day one as a pro. Returning for a sophomore season and adding some consistency and range to his shooting stroke, a wider variety to his low post arsenal and some added athleticism would certainly make that a reality.
For now, all we can do is patiently wait, but something to keep in mind while awaiting Turner’s decision is the possible head coaching change that could be looming for Barnes, who was the man that lured Turner to Austin. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Turner, who appears to be quite some time away from making a difficult decision, drag this out until the last possible moment and see what ultimately happens with his coach.