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Posted on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 10:15 a.m.

Evan Turner's back, gains ground on John Wall in player of year voting

By Michael Rothstein


Ohio State's Evan Turner, left, guards Iowa's Eric May on Jan. 27. Turner averages 18.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. (Photo: Associated Press)

Earlier this season, Ohio State junior guard Evan Turner missed six games with a back injury. It didn’t take him long to return to form, and voters in’s national player of the year voting noticed.

When’s first Player of the Year poll came out Jan. 20, Kentucky freshman John Wall had a commanding lead as Turner was just returning for the Buckeyes.

After big games against Purdue and Iowa, Ohio State is back in the Top 25 and Turner is within 24 points of Wall. Turner averages 23.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in six games against ranked opponents. In 16 games, Turner is averaging 18.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

“Basketball is not like riding a bike, it just doesn’t come back to you when you get back on it,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said about Turner’s return last month. “I was surprised in the Indiana game because he practiced one time leading into that game and he was a little bit sloppy and his timing wasn’t great.

“But he’s a kid that cares and wants to do really well, so maybe it isn’t as surprising from that standpoint.”


MORE ANALYSIS: • While the amounts of respondents to the second poll increased by three, the total number of players receiving at least one point - equivalent to a third-place vote - jumped from 11 in the first poll to 14 in the second.

• Six players made their first poll appearances of the year: Aldrich, Cousins, Fredette, Downey, Jones and Anderson. Three players dropped out: Kansas freshman Xavier Henry, Radford senior Artisom Parakhouski and Duke forward Kyle Singler.

• The biggest move was made by Villanova senior Scottie Reynolds, who went from eighth place to fourth and jumped in points from 7 to 17. Evan Turner made the biggest jump in points, from 32 to 82. He also went from having three first-place votes to 18.

• Six players had first-place votes in the first poll. Five have first-place votes in the second.



Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

I believe the game of basketball, like all things, must look toward the future. With regard to POY Evan Turner is the future of the game. As a smart, all around talent, Evan Turner is a player who specializes in everything. Why the broad debate between him and Wall, I dont know. I was once told that stats dont lie. More importantly, who is the OVERALL better player? Well, that would be Evan Turner. Now dont get me wrong, John Wall is exciting and a raw talent. He has a quick first step and is fast. He is a great player among a great cast. Kentucky is the sum of its parts. That includes Patterson, Bledsoe, and their loose cannon Cousins. Great team, but they arent ranked #1 anymore. Whats the problem? Lets look at the total body of work between these two players. Lets take into account the complete package, their total sum of excellence. If we do that, youre looking directly at Evan Turner. He plays any position on the court, he plays the entire game, and he makes every other player better. So far, he as well as Wall is a player any college or NBA coach would want on their team. Looking back, I believe this conversation would never have begun had Matta not sidelined him his freshman year. Can you believe he came off the bench behind Diebler? Does that make any sense to anyone? Now as to Turners body of work includes leading OSU to winning the NIT, leading OSU to last years Big Ten Final and the NCAA tournament, and this year leading them to, well who knows. Now for John Wall, well he is living up to the expectations put upon him before his first college game. They said he would average a double double. Not yet. He would average 25 points a game, well not yet. He doesnt even lead Turner in points to date. They said he would lead them to an undefeated season, well close but no cigar. While putting in an impressive performance thus far he is not leading any other POY candidate in any category. Why is he the frontrunner in this competition? Oh yeah, publicity. People dont believe the hype. Believe your eyes. So in this race, talent, work ethic, and productivity are not enough. Turner has to have the best season of any player, including all previous players of the year, in the past 20 year in order to rightfully claim this award. Why? What does he have to do to gain the respect as the great player he is. Will it take that to convince critics that there is more to basketball than run and dunk. Turner is a players player. He is generous on the dish, he does the work others wont, and take over to give hope where there was none. Thats a winner. Thats a Player of the Year. Oh, and by the way, he may just surpass the expectation of the 20/10/5. You never know. He is just that good. Why, isnt it enough?

Michael Rothstein

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 5:40 p.m.

Chosen, This poll I voted this way: 1) Evan Turner, Ohio State 2) Wesley Johnson, Syracuse 3) John Wall, Kentucky


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 5:17 p.m.

so who did you vote for Mike