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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Turner verbally commits to Arizona

Josiah Turner attacks the basket during an AAU high school basketball tournament Sunday, July 25, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. Turner joins AAU teammate Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson as the latest verbal commit in coach Sean Millers 2011 recruiting class.
Josiah Turner attacks the basket during an AAU high school basketball tournament Sunday, July 25, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. Turner joins AAU teammate Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson as the latest verbal commit in coach Sean Miller’s 2011 recruiting class.

Did the men’s basketball program have a better weekend than its football counterparts?

Maybe not, but for being the offseason, it couldn’t have gone much better.

Five-star point guard recruit Josiah Turner committed to the Arizona men’s basketball program yesterday, giving head coach Sean Miller the most highly-touted recruit of his young Wildcat career.

Turner, a 6-foot-3, 185 pound player from Sacramento, Calif., is ranked by Rivals.com as the second best point guard in the 2011 class and the 10th best recruit in the nation. That makes him the top recruit Miller has earned a commitment from.

The verbal agreement came as Turner joined fellow 2011 commitment Nick Johnson, a guard from Gilbert, Ariz., for his official visit in Tucson this weekend.

“”I got a good relationship with the coaching staff, I got to bond with the players on the team,”” Turner said. “”That was a big deciding factor.””

Also helping Arizona’s cause was playing on the West Coast, something that Turner said will allow his parents to come to his games. He added that Arizona made a strong final push by being the only school to have its head coach act as the main recruiter.

“”Most of the other schools, their assistants were recruiting me,”” Turner said. “”But at Arizona, Sean (Miller) started recruiting me. He took over the job for (associate head coach) Archie (Miller).

“”That really made me feel like this was the one.””

Along with friends Nick Johnson and forward Sidiki Johnson out of Oak Hill Academy, Turner makes the 2011 recruiting class three players deep. Turner and Nick Johnson played on the same AAU team and Turner believes that despite both players being scoring point guards, they already have chemistry on and off the court.

“”I’m not really thinking about that right now,”” he said of who will play the point. “”We can play together either way.””

A Tweet by Nick Johnson yesterday also confirmed his support for Turner’s decision: “”have official locked up Jossey T … letsss gooo.””

Not surprisingly, Turner said he’s not expected to take any more official visits. Arizona beat out a final recruiting list of Kansas, Oregon, UCLA and Louisville, Turner said.

Scouting Josiah Turner

Dave Telep, a recruiting and scouting analyst for Scout.com, said Turner isn’t like the classic point guard.

At 6-foot-3 and “”ultra athletic,”” Telep said the tandem of Turner and Nick Johnson will make for the most athletic backcourt in the Pacific 10 Conference.

“”He’s tough to guard, he’s a big-time finisher. He’s very, very good off the dribble,”” Telep said.

With his point guard skills developing, Turner can use his speed and quickness to cause havoc in the lane, either to put up large sums of points or create for his teammates, Telep said.

Miller probably will enjoy watching a long, athletic guard playing his chippy man-to-man defense as well.

Basketball’s version of Nick Foles?

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles was once an ASU Sun Devil commitment. Now, he’s one of the nation’s rising quarterbacks, leading Arizona into legitimacy as a program.

Oddly enough, Turner was also a Sun Devil commit.

Turner decommitted from ASU in July 2009, feeling he missed out on going through the recruiting process after giving the Sun Devil’s a verbal months before his sophomore year of high school.

Favorite ‘Cat

Living on the West Coast, Turner said he’s familiar with Arizona’s point guard tradition.

“”I always watched them,”” he said. “”I like Jerryd Bayless, and Gilbert Arenas was my favorite player. He’s always been my favorite player.””

 

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