There have been a number of epic fails of high school stars over the years...but Turner's story is the most recent. Jereme Richmond as well, but Turner was more hyped. Josiah's still young, so maybe he can turn it around, but it doesn't look promising.
The same issues that tainted Josiah Turner’s promise through high school and a brief university career hastened his departure from the Halifax Rainmen.
The National Basketball League of Canada team announced Wednesday morning that Turner, a prized recruit of the Arizona Wildcats just a year ago, had been released and his roster spot taken by veteran Cedric Moodie.
Turner, 20, averaged 9.8 points and 3.7 assists in 15 games with the Rainmen, including eight starts.
But he had fallen out of favour in recent weeks and hadn’t dressed for Halifax’s last four games.
“Josiah just didn’t buy into my system,” Rainmen coach Rob Spon said Wednesday. “Josiah wanted to do what Josiah wanted to do.”
Rivals.com had rated Turner the No. 2 high school point guard in the U.S. when he arrived at Arizona amid much hype. Numerous publications considered him a probable top-20 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
But the six-foot-three native of Sacramento, Calif., struggled through a difficult freshman campaign and last March was suspended for the rest of the season for violating team rules, the latest in a string of disciplinary problems.
He wasn’t selected in the draft and opted to turn pro with the Rainmen in hopes of getting his career back on track.
“I saw right away the talent that kid had,” said Spon, whose insertion of Turner into the starting lineup was one of his first moves when he took over the coaching reins from Cliff Levingston on Nov. 21.
The veteran bench boss said Turner was possibly the most talented young player in the league but immaturity was an issue, as it had been in previous stops at Arizona and several different high schools.
“Josiah’s just young. I’d call a set during a timeout I want run and he wouldn’t run it. … Josiah just didn’t warm up very well. Coming to games, I see him sitting around, I yell and he just gives me attitude.
“During practice and games, it just wasn’t working.”
The breaking point, Spon said, came in Moncton on Dec. 23 when Turner was left out of the starting lineup in favour of Melvin Goins and then twice asked to be removed from the game after entering as a substitute.
Halifax, 10-10 overall, is 3-2 since Goins unseated Turner as the starter. Goins is averaging 17.6 points and 8.6 assists over that span.
Moodie, a six-foot-one shooting guard, played 22 games under Spon’s direction last season with the Quebec Kebs, averaging 12.9 points and shooting 36 per cent from three-point territory.
His signing addresses a season-long trouble spot for Halifax, which has attempted the fewest three-pointers in the NBL and has the second-worst shooting percentage behind the arc.
“Cedric’s a great shooter, just a pure shooter,” said Spon, who compared the 34-year-old to former Rainmen sharpshooter Desmond Ferguson.
“He’s gonna help us immensely.”
Halifax begins the second half of the season in third place in the Atlantic Division. But the Rainmen yielded just 77 points in a Dec. 30 blowout of the Montreal Jazz and then set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a 97-70 victory over the Saint John Mill Rats on Tuesday.
“We’re playing very, very well,” Spon said. “My guys have bought in. I’ve finally got guys that have bought in and believe in each other and that’s why you’re seeing such great defence.”
The Rainmen visit Moncton to play the Miracles on Friday night and host the London Lightning on Saturday evening.
He and Renardo Sidney need to take a camping trip with Tony Dungey and John Lucas.
Jereme Richmond has all the physical tools to potential be a NBA player, only if had stayed in college for one year he would have been drafted.
I heard he would've likely been kicked off the team eventually had he stayed. Not only did he fight with teammates, but he wasn't going to class and he failed a drug test.
Jereme did, he stayed for his freshman year but his uncle led him I the draft with talks that he would be drafted, he has a ton of physical tool but is way too raw to be considered anything.
Ummm I would disagree and say Jereme had waaaay more hype coming into college than Turner. Kid had been a known commidity among college bball fans since middle school. And @Lebron, for never ever meant if he had stayed for his sophomore year and i agree. If Richmond had not gotten suspened for their NCAA tourney game and came back, even this website had him going top ten. Now with Josiah, holy s***, Has this kid had any type of parent figure/role model because his career is on a violent downhill slope. Imagine if he was even contributing on that Zona team right now. Scary...
Just what a waste of talent. I've been following him since high school since I'm also from Northern California and I have friends who played against him. Your attitude really can affect your talents on the court no matter how good you are. I remember watching him play in person at an AAU Tournament in Richmond when he played for the Oakland Soldiers and I was just amazed with his ability to attack the basket and I remember thinking how big of a joke it was for him to not be a McDonald's All American after watching him play. But now understand why. If he would have just played basketball and kept his sh** to himself he would for sure be an NBA player at least at some point. But now that most likely will never happen all because of the choices he made.