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Former Wildcat Josiah Turner released from Canadian team

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Colin Darland
Arizona freshman guard Josiah Turner attempts the game-tying put-back attempt in the closing seconds of the Wildcats’ 69-67 loss to the Washington Huskies on Saturday, January 28, 2012, in McKale Center at the University of Arizona. Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

Just call it Josiah being Josiah.

The Halifax Rainmen of the National Basketball League of Canada announced on Jan. 2 that Josiah Turner had been released from the team.

“Josiah just didn’t buy into my system,” Rainmen coach Rob Spon told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. “Josiah wanted to do what Josiah wanted to do.”

After short-lived stints with the UA (one season), SMU (never played a game) and a professional team in Hungary (less than four weeks), Turner finds himself at a crossroads again.

Turner averaged 9.8 points and 3.7 assists for the Rainmen, stats only slightly better than when he was with the Wildcats. In a suspension-filled freshman season with Arizona, Turner scored 6.8 points per game with 2.4 assists.

Turner’s talent has never been in question, though. Before coming to the UA, Turner was rated the No. 2 point guard in the country by Rivals.com.

“I saw right away the talent that kid had,” Spon said.

In high school, Turner played for two teams in his senior year.

Shortly after announcing his decision to leave the UA, Turner was charged with a DUI, but SMU head coach Larry Brown still gave him a chance to play for the Mustangs.

Before ever even playing a game, Turner decided he instead was going to turn pro and signed with a professional team in Hungary.

Within four weeks, and before playing a regular season game, he asked for his release from his team in Albacomp.

About a month later, Turner signed with the Rainmen.

“Josiah’s just young,” Spon said. “I’d call a set during a timeout I want run and he wouldn’t run it. … Josiah just didn’t warm up very well. Coming to games, I see him sitting around, I yell and he just gives me attitude.”

Spon told the Chronicle Herald that the breaking point came on Dec. 23 when Turner was left out of the starting lineup, then asked to be removed from the game — twice.

“During practice and games, it just wasn’t working,” Spon said.

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