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More freshman trouble: Arizona suspends point guard Josiah Turner

Josiah Turner

Josiah Turner is averaging 7.1 points in seven games. Photo by Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

They are Josiah Turner’s own words. Three games after riding the pine for all 40 minutes against Ball State, the Arizona Wildcats freshman was asked what he had learned.

“It made me realize what was going on and that coach Sean Miller don’t play around,” Turner said.

Yeah, coach Sean Miller don’t play around.

He already had to suspend freshman center Sidiki Johnson, who then announced his transfer on Monday. And, now, comes more trouble for Turner.

The school announced Tuesday night that Turner has been suspended for Wednesday night’s game at Florida because of violations of team policy. Turner missed practice, according to a tweet from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com

On Monday, Miller talked about how Turner had been making progress on and off the court since the early season “attitude adjustment.”

He even talked that there was “no question” Turner had a chance to regain a starting spot from sophomore Jordin Mayes, who has started the past seven games after Turner started the two exhibition games and the season-opener.

Then, in words that were prophetic, Miller added this caveat:

“I hope he continues to grow. Today is a new day. We haven’t practiced yet, so we’ll see how that goes today. And then we’ll wake up tomorrow and check to see how that goes tomorrow.

“It’s every day. Those are the expectations at Arizona. It’s not every other day, or once every three or four days, that you do a great job in practice. It’s who you are every day that allows everybody to trust you — your teammates, your coaches.

“That’s not just for one player in our program, that’s for everybody.”

Turner is averaging 7.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists and 21.3 minutes in seven games. He has the same number of turnovers (12) as assists. He is shooting 37.5 percent overall (15 of 40), including 2 of 14 from 3-point range.

Miller said in a statement from the school on Tuesday night: “Josiah will not play in Wednesday’s game at Florida. We will meet with him when we return to campus to discuss what his obligations to this program are moving forward.”

Arizona certainly needs all the help it can get against 12th-ranked Florida, which might have the best corps of guards in country, Miller said. The Cats will go with a combination of Mayes and freshman combo guard Nick Johnson at point guard.

Miller said he has been disappointed in Mayes’ ability to distribute; he has only five assists in 154 minutes.

While Mayes, an excellent shooter, tries to become a more well-rounded point guard, Turner appears to have work to do in terms of gaining (re-gaining?) the trust of his teammates and coaches.

“We care a lot about Josiah. It’s not like he’s a bad kid. He’s a great kid,” Miller said after Turner sat for Arizona’s 73-63 victory over Ball State on Nov. 13.

“He’s trying to find his way from where he left high school … on and off the court, making good decisions, working hard every day.”

And if you don’t … well Miller don’t play around.

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