We’re counting down the 25 best former Texas athletes still competing in their sport. Each day we’ll reveal a new athlete.
No. 9 Myles Turner, basketball
Myles Turner busted out a burnt orange bucket hat and announced to the world the then top uncommitted player in the 2014 recruiting class was headed to Austin. The Euless Trinity forward was the last great McDonald’s All-American recruiting win of Rick Barnes’ time at Texas. Turner was seen as a final addition to a team capable of reaching the Final Four, finishing Kansas’ Big 12 streak and firmly ending any “Barnes must go” talk. Turner was one of the best freshman in the country in the 2014-2015 season and earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. Turner averaged 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks and started seven games for the Longhorns while averaging 22.2 minutes per game. Unfortunately the momentum of a strong 2013-2014 season didn’t carry over for the Longhorns. Texas finished a disappointing 20-14 and 8-10 in the Big 12 — seventh in the league– and Barnes was eventually fired.
Pro career: Turner declared for the NBA Draft on March 30th, 2015 and was selected just outside the top-10 when the Indiana Pacers took him 11th overall. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after starting 30 games and averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds. His second season only saw him improve. Turner averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while starting 81 games. This past season Turner helped the Pacers reach the playoffs for the third straight season as Indiana took the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the first round before falling. For the season, Turner averaged 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while grinding through an elbow injury that forced him to miss nine games.
Why he’s here: Turner is a 6-foot-11-inch, 255 pound athletic, modern day NBA big. His pro career was always going to fit his style better than his days as a Longhorn. Turner has seen his 3-point shooting percentage rise from 21.4 percent as a rookie to 35.7 percent this past season– a career high. Now paired with another young rising star, Victor Oladipo, Turner is a cornerstone of the Pacers’ future. His fourth season could be pivotal in terms of what to expect from Turner moving forward. Will he emerge as a possible NBA All-Star as he is already one of the five best post players in the NBA East Conference?
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