Evan Turner’s Injury Costly in Numerous Ways

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By: David Kay

It is not very often when I watch a sports highlight that I cringe.  Maybe it is my thick skin or the fact that I have seen some pretty gruesome looking injuries happen during my short lifetime, but when Ohio State’s Evan Turner took a nasty spill after missing a dunk Saturday, I cringed.  (The video is linked at the bottom of the page if you have not seen it.)

The fall looked as painful as what the injury ended up being; fractures of the second and third lumbar vertebra of his spine.  Initial reports say Turner will miss at least eight weeks which has to be a relief considering how hard and awkward he fell on his neck.

This is obviously a major blow for the Buckeyes.  Heading into their game against Eastern Michigan, Turner was doing a little bit of everything for Thad Matta’s squad averaging a ridiculous 20.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game while already posting two triple-doubles.  He was becoming a Scottie Pippen-like player as he transitioned into a point forward role and was the early favorite for Player of the Year honors.

EvanTurnerWhile the injury leaves some major shoes for Ohio State to fill, it may hurt Turner’s NBA Draft stock even more than OSU’s chances for success this season.  Based on the seriousness of the injury, I cannot imagine Turner returning to the Buckeyes at the level he was playing to start the year.  After he heals up, the 6’7” Turner will have to prove to NBA scouts he is 100% by the end of the season if he is going to declare for the draft.

In my most recent mock draft, I had the junior standout going fifth overall.  When I come out with my next mock, Turner’s name will not be on the list at all because I have to think there will be some hesitancy or fear of taking another hard fall and possibly re-aggravating the injury when he does return, thus plummeting his stock.

I think Turner may have to go back to school for his senior season to have any hope of re-establishing himself as a top-five pick.  Think about it, if you are an NBA team, are you going to want to risk a lottery pick on a player pretty much recovering from a broken back?  Remember what happened to DeJuan Blair’s draft stock when medical reports said he was more susceptible to knee injuries?  Blair dropped from a possible late lottery possibility to a second round selection.  I don’t think Turner’s nose-dive would be that drastic, but you never know what team doctors will say.

Maybe most important of all, I have to find a new college hoops man-crush.  At the end of last season, Turner was the early favorite to replace Tyreke Evans as my guy to gush about.  Turner was certainly living up to expectations and now I feel empty, lost, and confused.  The likely candidate to take Turner’s place in my man-crushdom; Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson.

(Photo Credit: Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch)

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Wow! and on the same day that Oden goes down- AGAIN for the big man and former #1 pick. Ohio State had a brutal day yesterday…ouch! And since the Oden pick is looking like such a bust, Turner would be risky this year. I saw some mocks having him 3rd overall. looks like 2011 for him

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