Anybody else see a mix of Archie Goodwin and Rajon Rondo?
2014 recruit Myles Turner may be enjoying the biggest ranking jump since Anthony Davis, according to the Twitter account of Jeff Goodman. Once outside the top-100, Turner is now safely nestled within the top 10, and might challenge fellow Kentucky recruits Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor for the #1 big man spot, and possibly the top overall spot in the class. Sound like Anthony? A little bit. So will his recruiting end up the same way, with Cal swooping in and nabbing a potential future PoY and overall number one draft pick?
Well, maybe not, unfortunately. Goodman tabs UK as the 5th most likely destination for Turner (Insider). Why is his recruitment so different from Anthony’s?
First of all, Myles is already getting a lot more attention than Davis did. With consideration from Kansas, Duke, Arizona, and Ohio State, he’s got plenty of options. You’ll recall that Davis famously only got serious attention from Cleveland State before collecting offers from Syracuse, Ohio State, and Kentucky. Could Anthony have gone anywhere he wanted? Sure. Did other schools notice his talent early enough to make it competitive? Not really. With Turner, everyone’s on the ball, and everyone knows what this kid could be.
And speaking of that growth spurt Davis had, Myles isn’t exactly surprising people physically. Impressing them, yes, but not surprising them. Yeah, he’s shot up the recruiting rankings, but it’s not because of a ridiculous one-year period of obscene, bamboo-like growth, it’s because of an increasingly diverse showcase of skills that really just weren’t there a year ago. He’s not gotten bigger, he’s just better.
The talent in this year’s class might have something to do with Kentucky’s placement, too. Davis didn’t have any worry joining, since he knew that Kanter wouldn’t be a roster issue, and Eloy Vargas wasn’t about to steal any minutes. But consider that Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee might stick around for a sophomore year (and there’s a remote chance we could see WCS as a junior), and the pool of available minutes for Turner looks a little dry, especially with Karl Towns. Could someone of his talent come in and earn minutes anyway? Of course. But it might be easier to do somewhere else.
Finally, there isn’t a class base in 2014 that would make Turner feel comfortable joining. Some, like MKG, Towns, and the Harrisons, like to be the first to commit, and then get out and recruit. Many top prospects, though, like to see where the dominoes fall before making their decision, or at least get a better idea of where other recruits are likely to end up. So far, Towns is the only player committed to Cal for 2014-15. Maybe if Tyus Jones, Emanuel Mudiay, or other guards start signing up, Turner would be more comfortable seeing himself in Lexington. Until then, he might be happier sitting back and seeing what happens with everyone else.
Turner is super talented, and has had a meteoric rise similar to Davis’. But I don’t think that he’s as important as Davis was. With Towns, Jahlil Okafor, Trey Lyles, and the sophomore Cats anchoring the paint, Turner is probably more a want than a need. That said, we’d of course love to have him in Lexington. We’re not exactly fans of turning away ridiculous talent. But until the Cats at least crack the top three in his recruitment, it’s probably best we don’t get too excited just yet.