Myles Turner is one of the top prospects in college basketball's class of 2014 -- he's No. 2 if you ask ESPN or Scout, No. 5 if you ask 247Sports. The 7-footer still hasn't decided where he'll presumably play one year of college before entering the NBA Draft. He'll finally make that announcement April 30, choosing among seven schools.
The Dallas-area native said he had no favorite fewer than two weeks before his decision, according to Jeff Borzello of CBSsports.com. When Turner says that the Kansas Jayhawks, SMU Mustangs, Texas Longhorns, Ohio State Buckeyes, Texas A&M Aggies, Duke Blue Devils and Oklahoma State Cowboys are viable options for his letter of intent, he doesn't appear to be blowing smoke.
No matter who you ask, Turner is among the handful of elite big-man prospects headlining this year's recruiting class, though he contrasts enough in style and skill set from Duke signee Jahlil Okafor and Kansas signee Cliff Alexander that he can co-exist with both despite all three being top-five prospects at center. Turner is more of a face-up player right now, at least on offense. He can stretch his game out to near the three-point line with his jump shot, and a lot of his offense closer in relies on his athleticism rather than low-post moves. Okafor and Alexander are more polished post players. Turner is also considered an elite shot blocker.
If Turner were to leave after one college season -- which, again, well could be the case as of one month before his high school graduation -- it's worth considering which team would benefit most from his services for the upcoming season. Below, all seven teams are ranked in order of improvement were Turner to join their rosters.
Emmanuel Mudiay has been perhaps the most impressive backcourt player in the class of 2014, and the 6'5 point guard is headed to SMU. With Nic Moore returning for his sophomore season, Turner would instantly be paired with a loaded backcourt and a handful of experienced, talented forwards that includes Markel Kennedy and Texas Tech transfer Jordan Tolbert, who is seeking a waiver to be eligible immediately. The Mustangs made the NIT title game this year after North Carolina State nabbed the last at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Turner would put Larry Brown's team firmly in the top 10 of preseason polls and fairly among Final Four debates as the season approaches.
Bill Self would make it work with Turner, Alexander and Perry Ellis, because no coach will ever complain about too many big men, especially after Joel Embiid's injury led to a sputtering exit in the round of 32 last month for the Jayhawks. Turner would be flexible enough to play with Alexander, though flourishing alongside Ellis, who will be a junior, could be an issue. Turner would add a different element from Ellis as a more effective rebounder, but Self would essentially have to force Ellis to the three-spot if he wanted his three best players on the court at the same time.
Texas, like Kansas, would have to make room for Turner, but a frontcourt of Turner, Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes would be fearsome in the Big 12. Rick Barnes would likely try to play Holmes at the three, but a Longhorns team that ranked 246th in three-point percentage would not stand to improve much in that area if its primary small forward made 28 threes as a junior, which is what Holmes did in 2013-14. Still, Barnes wouldn't say no, and the Longhorns would go from undersized last season to jumbo-sized the next.
The Blue Devils are bringing in Okafor, the No. 1 player in his class and a 6'10 center who may arrive on campus with the most developed college offensive post game since DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky in 2009. That said, that's not Turner's game -- at least, not in its current, in-progress state. It's not too difficult to see how the two could flourish together. Amile Jefferson would likely be Turner's biggest obstacle for playing time, and supplanting a starter who shot 64.4 percent from the floor is never a given, even for a player of Turner's caliber.
5. Ohio State
Aaron Craft was a fine college basketball player, but his career ended with him laying on the floor as Dayton celebrated its win in the round of 64. In the post-Craft era, the Buckeyes have 6'11 Amir Williams returning but not much depth behind him at center. There would quite clearly be ample playing time for Turner were he to choose the Buckeyes. Ohio State has three top-30 signees according to ESPN, but none is bigger than 6'7 forward Keita Bates-Diop.
6. Texas A&M
The Aggies weren't a very notable team last season, finishing 18-16 and No. 121 in KenPom.com's rankings. However, they return five of six players who played at least 50 percent of the team's minutes, including Jamal Jones, a trigger-happy 6'8 forward who would complement Turner well. The Aggies seem like a long shot for Turner, because they would seem like a long shot for any top recruit's services, but if Davonte Fitzgerald recovers from a season-ending knee injury and plays more than the 24 games he played as a freshman, Billy Kennedy's team will be near the top of the SEC with Turner as its premier player.
7. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are losing Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Brian Williams, but Turner would help stabilize a frontcourt-heavy team with Le'Bryan Nash and Michael Cobbins, who suffered a season-ending injury in December. Oklahoma State is last on this list, but in reality, all of these teams would be quite good with Turner. The Cowboys might not be as good as they were last season even if Turner heads to Stillwater. Then again, who knows?