Just as we were bemoaning a lack of shooting guard depth for the future, the rumor mill picked right up. Thanks to our friend HuskyPower over at UWDawgPound, we picked up a tip that could present a new option in the guard rotation down the road:
Elston Turner Jr. ET was a key part in the Huskies’ late-season charge—without him, we don’t make the NCAAs, we don’t beat Marquette—but next year’s team looks to be even deeper at guard and he felt he was being pigeonholed as a long-range shooter, not getting to show all of his game. He’s a good player, and rumor is he’s on his way to Vandy. Sounds like y’all could use him, for all your talent. LINK
Turner, a 6'5" shooting guard for the Huskies, looks like the type of guard that thrives in the Kevin Stallings system, a volume shooter with good three point range and the athleticism - and desire - to score from inside the arc as well. Despite some deceptively meager stats, Turner played his best ball in Washington's most important games, and it's no secret that Vanderbilt could use another player who steps up in tough situations. In a system with just one true SG in the rotation, he'd be a welcome addition to the Commodores. Additionally, Stallings's success with transfers like Derrick Byars and Ross Neltner have to be an additional bonus for the young guard as he chooses the next stop in his collegiate career.
However, it's important to note that this rumor appears to be in full word-of-mouth mode. There's no official word, and not even a direct quote from Turner suggesting that he's even been contacted by any schools at this stage. The sophomore, who is a Texas native, has mentioned playing at Texas or Texas A&M in order to be closer to his family, but made no reference to Vanderbilt or any other system. In fact, the only specifics that Turner referenced were having options to develop as an all-around scorer at a Division I school.
Vanderbilt seems to offer many of the features that Turner is looking for, and has a history of success with similar players - two aspects that seem to make Nashville a possible destination for the shooting guard. While it's entirely too early to start counting our chickens before they hatch, adding a player like Turner would solve problems on both sides - giving the Commodores the depth they need at the two guard while offering a young player more playing time and a greater chance to shine. If the 'Dores were able to hold on to John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor beyond 2011, the young guard could be a key piece of one of the strongest teams to call Memorial Gym home. Could CKS have a trick up his sleeve when addressing the roster's most glaring hole? It's possible. But since Turner would have to sit out next year even if he did come to Nashville, he'll have to figure out some other options to beef up the backcourt before relying on any transfers.
Hopefully this develops beyond rumor and into reality, but we'll see. Stay tuned for updates and the possibility to throw all this back in my face should Turner completely shoot down any rumors later in the day, week, or month.
*Thanks again to HuskyPower for the heads up. And go read UWDawgPound while you're at it for more updates.