|Posted by Brian Dickmann on November 15, 2016 at 8:10 PM|
Photo: Bruce Ackerman / Ocala Star-Banner
Phoenix fans are hoping their coaching staff has struck gold at the junior college level again.
Green Bay received a fourth commitment for their 2017 recruiting class on Tuesday when Paul Turner committed to Green Bay. The 6’5” shooting guard is currently a sophomore at the College of Central Florida and will join the Phoenix next season. He will have two seasons of eligibility.
Head coach Linc Darner has had success recruiting at the JUCO level so far early during his Green Bay tenure. He was able to land current senior Charles Cooper, a first team preseason all-Horizon League selection this season, as well as Jamar Hurdle during his first offseason in charge of the program.
Turner is originally from Bellwood, Illinois put has spent the past several seasons in Florida, first at Victory Rock for a year of prep and post graduate school, before spending the past two seasons at the College of Central Florida.
Early in his prep career at St. Joseph’s High School in Westchester, Illinois, Turner was a highly touted prospect. As a freshman he received a scholarship offer from Illinois. Offers from DePaul, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Florida, and Wisconsin soon followed.
Turner went to prep school and eventually wound up at the JUCO level at Central Florida where he scored 7.1 points per game last season in 21.0 minutes of action. His shooting stroke, one of his strong suits as a high schooler, seemed to have faded last season as he hit just 19.2% (14-73) from beyond the arc and 40.7% from the floor overall.
He seems to have found his stroke again this season, however, as his shooting stats have improved dramatically. Through four games so far this season Turner is averaging a team best 15.8 points per game while shooting 41.7% (10-24) from beyond the arc.
Turner is also an above average free throw shooter, making over 80% from the free throw line last season. Perimeter shooting, and more importantly free throw shooting, are something Green Bay desperately needs.
“One of the best shooters I saw in October,” tweeted Kirven Lang of JucoReport.com.
Turner joins 2017 commitments Will Chevalier, Trevian Bell, and PJ Pipes to have signed with Green Bay so far during the early signing period. The Phoenix still have two scholarships remaining.
Due to Anthony and Avery Brown redshirting this season, Turner will be the Phoenix lone junior next season as it stands right now. It is likely Darner will try to add some more balance to the classes by bringing in an additional JUCO player or Division I transfer, though two more prep prospects are not out of the question. Darner could also bank the scholarship and use it for the 2018 class of which he has already offered several scholarships to players across Wisconsin.
One thing is clear – Green Bay will need some size with the final two scholarships. Turner (6’5”) is the third guard to sign with the 2017 class joining Bell (6’5”) and Pipes (6’1”). Chevalier (6’8”) is the tallest of the group, but he is considered a stretch four and has more of a perimeter game.
The Phoenix must replace six outgoing seniors – four guards: Warren Jones, Tevin Findlay, Charles Cooper, and Turner Botz, along with two big men: Jamar Hurdle and Kenneth Lowe.