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Friday, April 30, 2010
Ohio State's next Evan Turner?

By Diamond Leung

AZUSA, Calif. -- Lenzelle Smith, Jr., a guard set to start his freshman season at Ohio State, said he's heard it more times than he can count that he's the next Evan Turner.

Smith, Jr.
Smith, Jr.
"Every time I hear it, it's great," Smith said after practice for Saturday's High School Academic All-American Classic. "Those are big shoes to fill.

"I don't think it's totally far-fetched."

Replacing a national player of the year won't be easy, of course, but Smith said he shares similarities with Turner and appears comfortable making the comparison with his former AAU teammate.

With Turner leaving school after his junior season as a projected top NBA draft pick, Smith is expected to get a shot to play point guard. At 6-foot-4, he has good size for a player who can distribute the basketball.

Smith is leaving high school with a 4.1 grade-point average. He and Turner briefly played together with the Illinois Stars when Smith was in the eighth grade.

"He calls me his little brother," Smith said.