Myles Turner was originally supposed to visit Kansas this weekend for “Late Night in the Phog.”
Instead, he opted to head to the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team’s October Mini-Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Even though he’s projected as a top-2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-11 Turner learned there’s always work to be done when it comes to developing your game.
“I definitely learned that you can never sleep out here,” Turner told SNY.tv Sunday evening. “Someone’s always coming for you, coming to make the team, coming to make you not look not as you really are and you can never sleep out here. You gotta always stay hungry.”
On the recruiting front, Turner has cut his list to eight schools — Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma State — and is still working out his visit schedule. He has always maintained he will sign in the spring.
“I don’t have any official visits set up right now,” he said. “Definitely this Oct. 18 weekend I’m going to go somewhere. And the three I’m choosing from are Kentucky, Duke and Oklahoma State.”
He said he will know where he will trip that weekend “sometime next week because I really want to get that planned out and make sure the coaches know I’m coming.”
Beyond that weekend, Turner said he “definitely” plans to visit Kansas at some point.
“I’m definitely going to go back out to Kansas,” he said. “That’s one of the visits I have set up for a while and I want to make sure I get back out to see them. Aside from that, everything’s just to be determined.”
Kansas has a strong track record with big men and Turner is well aware of their history.
“A lot of success they’ve had with big men and I like Bill Self,” Turner said. “He’s a real down to Earth guy. I really like the home visit I had with them and I can’t wait to get out to their campus to see what they can bring. And he definitely showed me where he’s going to develop me. And that’s one thing that really stood out in the visit.”
Duke is also in the mix and Turner has had a home visit with Coach K.
“Yes, sir, I have and that was a very eye-opening visit,” he said. “He told me the same thing, how he would develop me. He told me certain things down the road that he’s going to help me get better at if I come to his school. He wasn’t selling the school too much. I kind of appreciated that. He was telling me what he’s going to do to get me to where I need to go.”
Kentucky and Coach John Calipari are also strongly in the mix.
“Coach Calipari’s all about business,” Turner said. “He told me straight up it’s going to be a basketball-business decision so I really like his approach towards everything.”
Of course, all three of those schools are also in the mix for 6-10 Chicago big man Jahlil Okafor — who was also at USA Basketball — and Kansas is also involved with Chicago big man Cliff Alexander.
Asked if he could imagine playing alongside Okafor at Duke, Kentucky or Kansas, Turner said, “I mean, I think that would be pretty cool because I think we complement each other’s games pretty well. But we really haven’t talked about teaming up. I don’t have the best relationship with him. I talk to him anytime I see him at camp. Jahlil’s pretty cool. I haven’t really talked to Cliff too much. We really haven’t talked about teaming up together.”
Turner said he’s still considering SMU although they are not formally on his list because fellow Texan Emmanuel Mudiay is recruiting him there.
“I would say I’m still giving them a look,” Turner said. “I would say they’re a dark horse on my list. He’s still trying to get me to go, he really is. He’s pushing extra hard for that.”
Turner also said he may take a visit to Arizona.
“I haven’t set up anything yet,” he said. “I had an in-home visit with them. I liked everything that went down there so hopefully I’m able to get out there.”
Photo: USA Basketball
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.