Pacers will make Evan Turner reach his potential

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Evan Turner’s rookie year with the Philadelphia 76ers has been anything but normal; and not in a good way. The Chicago native who took home all the major national player of the year awards in college basketball during his final season of “amateur” status at Ohio State. His NBA career get off to a very rough start. He looked terrible in summer league; had an atrocious first couple months and when he returned to play in his hometown versus the Bulls for the first time, his numbers read like this: 6.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 40.6 FG%, 1.8 Asst. The Sixers demanded better ROI on their 3 year, $12 million investment.

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Will Evan Turner Play in his Return Home to Chicago vs. Bulls?

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. No, not at all.

After Ohio State University superstar Evan Turner was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers second overall in last June’s NBA Draft,  and the NBA schedule came out, I circled December 21st on the calendar, the date ET came home to face the Chicago Bulls. The Southside native who prepped with Illini point guard Demetri McCamey at St. Joseph in suburban Westchester, was going to start a professional game in his home town for the first time.

After sweeping all the national player of the year awards in college basketball, Turner looked to be on his way to becoming Philly’s franchise centerpiece. But after struggling in summer league, and getting off to a rough start in his rookie season, Turner now finds himself on the bench and hardly playing at all.

By Paul M. Banks

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#2 Pick Evan Turner Struggling with Sixers So Far

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Last spring,  I had the pleasure of covering all four weekends of March Madness. This college basketball vocational voyage, which I dubbed the “Midwest Swing,” granted me a lot of face time with the national player of the year Evan Turner. This kid from my hometown of Chicago swept all the player of the year awards en route to winning the Big Ten Tournament, reaching the sweet 16 and becoming the #2 pick in the NBA Draft.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were prominently featured in three of the four Regionals I covered in 2010, so I got to see Turner and his teammates play a hell of a lot.

From March until the beginning of the NBA season I saw Turner: become a national sensation by hitting a half-court buzzer beater to eliminate the Michigan Wolverines, whine to the media about Illini trash-talking him the next day, win a conference tournament and later every important individual award, get eliminated by Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen, get drafted second overall, get rattled by trash talk again (this time from the Purdue Boilermakers Student Section Twitter account) struggle massively in Summer League and begin his professional career.

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EVERYTHING you need to know about #2 Overall Pick Evan Turner

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“And with the second pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Evan Turner from the Ohio State University.”

That’s what you’ll hear tomorrow night as the Sixers make it official. Turner is a needed compliment to Andre Iguodala on the wing and will bring his versatility to a franchise badly in need of a go-to player.I truly was blessed this past season and post-season to have had the opportunity to closely cover college basketball’s most decorated player in Ohio State’s Evan Turner.

“His Royal Smoothness” as I often call him, won the Wooden, the Naismith and pretty much every other national college basketball player of the year award (seven in total). And he could very well be the next Scottie Pippen. He’s also EASILY the most blogged about individual athlete in The Sports Bank’s history.

I’ve written so much about him during this past year, I think his mother Iris James is the only person on this Earth who knows more about Turner than I do.

Paul M. Banks presents the greatest hits collection

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