Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sixers select Turner

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced tonight that the team has selected guard Evan Turner with the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.  Turner was an early entry candidate for the draft following his junior season at Ohio State.

"We are very excited to select a player with the all-around skill and talent of Evan Turner," Stefanski said. "We think he will step in from the first day and make an impact on this team on both ends of the floor."

Turner (6-7, 214) swept the national player of the year honors from this past season, picking up the Naismith Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award along with the USBWA, Associated Press and NABC player of the year awards.  He was also Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

This past season, Turner led the Big Ten in scoring (20.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg) while ranking second in assists (6.0 apg) and steals (1.7 spg).  According to STATS, he became the first Division I player to average at least 20 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in a single season since Oscar Robertson did so in back-to-back seasons in 1958-59 and 1959-60.

Turner led Ohio State to the Big Ten Tournament title and helped the Buckeyes advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  Ohio State finished the season with a 29-8 mark, winning 15 of its final 17 games. 

Against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 5 2009, Turner suffered a transverse process fracture on the second and third lumbar vertebra but missed just six games (Buckeyes 3-3 mark) after initially being told he had a recovery period of eight weeks.  In his third game back from the injury, Turner scored a season-high tying 32 points in a four-point win at Purdue.

Turner opened the season with a triple-double against Alcorn State and posted another one four games later vs. Lipscomb, becoming one of 34 players in NCAA Division I history to record multiple triple-doubles in a single season.

The 21-year-old is a native of Chicago and attended the same high school, St. Joseph’s, as Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.  St. Joseph’s was also featured in the documentary film Hoop Dreams.

The Sixers were awarded the second pick as a result of the 26th annual NBA Draft Lottery which was held on May 18, 2010.  Entering the lottery, Philly was slated to draft sixth and only had a 6.03% chance of moving up to the #2 pick.  

This marked the fourth time in team history that the Sixers held the second overall pick (1974, 1993 and 1997) but it was the first time Philly drafted higher than eighth since 1997.

Six of Philly’s top nine scorers from this past season (Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights, Samuel Dalembert and Jrue Holiday) were drafted by the Sixers and have played their entire careers with the franchise, though Dalembert was traded to Sacramento last week. 

Not including Turner, the Sixers currently have nine players on their roster who will be 26 or younger heading into the 2010-11 season, including seven who will be 24 or younger.

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