Turner’s new coach: Move to North Carolina not a basketball decisionby Javier Morales on Feb. 02, 2011, under Sports
Josiah Turner‘s new coach, Isaac Pitts, told the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal last week that the transfer of the Arizona signee from Sacramento High School is “not a basketball move.”
Turner, one of the higher rated Class of 2011 point guards by recruiting services, started classes at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem on Jan. 24, less than a week after moving from Sacramento. He left that school following a reported rift with coach Derek Swafford. According to the Sacramento Bee, Turner tried to return to the Sacramento team but Swafford dismissed him for missing practices and games without permission.
Pitts, who instantly inherits a McDonald’s All-American candidate, told the Journal that Turner made the move for his schoolwork.
“He just wanted a change of atmosphere and to get to a place where he could concentrate academically,” Pitts said.
QEA (17-4) won two games over the weekend with Turner, a 6-foot-3-inch playmaker, in the lineup. He scored a team-high 17 in his debut last Friday with the Fighting Pharaohs in their 74-59 win over Upper Room Christian Academy on Friday.
Only one other QEA player is nominated to be a McDonald’s All-American — Sir’Dominic Pointer, a 6-5 wing player who has signed with St. John’s. The 2011 selections for the game, to be played March 30 in Chicago, should be announced by the end of next week.
Turner’s summer AAU teammate and fellow UA signee Nick Johnson of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep is also a McDonald’s nominee, as is the Wildcats’ other Class of 2011 signee, Sidiki Johnson of Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy.
Joining them is Arizona Class of 2011 target Angelo Chol of San Diego Hoover High School. Chol, a 6-9 post player, completed an official visit to Arizona last weekend and will visit Washington next weekend before making a decision.
Arizona coach Sean Miller, who has told the Tucson media that Turner’s situation (transferring from Sacramento to QEA) will work itself out, commented about Turner’s skills during Tuesday’s Pac-10 media teleconference.
“There is a couple of striking things that really stand out when you watch Josiah,” Miller said. “No. 1 is his size. Physically, he’s 6-foot-3 and a guy who has not lifted a lot of weights. He’s a young person. He’s 190 pounds coming in.
“When you look at how big physically he is, he looks like some of those point guards who really not only do well in college but leave college and play beyond that. He really does have that going for him. I also think he has the making of a really good defender.”
Miller added that Turner is a throwback to the kind of point guard who tries to incorporate his teammates more than look for his shot.
“He’s a pass-first point guard,” Miller said. “That really is kind of a lost art. Sometimes when you look around the country at the way a lot of guys play, very few of them really think pass first and have that high-assist mentality. Josiah can be that guy for us.”