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Tuesday, October 25, 2011
'Ridiculous' expectations on Josiah Turner

By Diamond Leung

Arizona freshman Josiah Turner is ESPNU's third-ranked point guard in the nation for the incoming class and is set to take the reins of a team that went to the Elite Eight last season. Much is expected from the 6-foot-3 Turner, who will have an opportunity to step right in and impress.

But right now Wildcats coach Sean Miller wants to slow things down a bit because he doesn't believe it's the right time for people to already be talking about Turner as a future NBA draft pick before the kid has played a single minute in college.

"The expectations on Josiah right now are almost ridiculous," Miller told reporters. "People are talking about his future before he's scored his first basket. One of the worst messages to give to a player in a college program is that college is a sentence (that you have to serve). Right now, our four freshmen know four plays, and haven't even practiced into the double digits. Before any of their futures can be evaluated, our guys need to play their first game."

Pac-12 followers only have to go back as far Abdul Gaddy at Washington a couple years ago for a reminder that expectations and rankings do not necessarily lead to one-and-done status. Gaddy was the nation's second-ranked point guard in the 2009 class behind John Wall and has steadily grown as a player before going down with a knee injury last season.

At Saturday's intrasquad game, Turner had four points, four rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Turner certainly has heard all the early NBA talk leading up to his debut in a Wildcats uniform.
"I just let it fly by me," Turner said of the early NBA talk. "I'm not there till I make it there."

At Arizona's preseason media day last week, Turner spoke softly but confidently about the attention he faces as an NBA prospect and the pressure of being a highly touted player at the school's marquee position.

"It is exciting," Turner said. "It puts a lot of pressure on me, a little bit, but I just want to deal with it. That was one of the reasons I came here."