By Paul M. Banks
INDIANAPOLIS- Ohio State’s Evan Turner is likely going to sweep the national college basketball player of the year awards. He truly is royally smooth on the court. On Friday, in the Big Ten quarterfinals, his 40-foot buzzer beater to eliminate Michigan was the lead national story in almost every sports outlet. “I got 150 texts about it when I got back to my phone in here,” Turner said Saturday.
But even “His Royal Smoothness” can get rattled by trash talk sometimes. And after his Buckeyes beat the Illinois Fighting Illini 88-81 in double overtime, Turner discussed how his trash talking opponents got under his skin.
“It definitely got me going. Usually I don’t really — I show emotion but I don’t really get too much into it like that. For them to start running their mouths, they really, really annoyed me. I knew we were a tougher team and everything we’ve been through. I started thinking about the sand pits, all the injuries, we always battled back through that. I knew what type of team we had. I knew what we had was way tougher than what they had, and definitely I wasn’t trying to lose.” Turner said.
The Big Ten player of the year fouled out in the second overtime, but still finished with a game high 31 points, along with 10 rebounds, and six assists. Despite the fact that Turner is close friends with Illinois star Demetri McCamey, (they attended St. Joseph’s high school in Chicago together), there was some acrimony in this game.
“They were just running their mouths too much, and that was it.They were hitting shots and front runners, and they were running them off entirely too much. That’s all I’m saying,” Turner re-iterated.
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