Myles Turner: Are the winds changing to favor Burnt Orange?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Texas Longhorns are gaining traction in Myles Turner's recruitment.

There are just four remaining uncommitted prospects in the 247 Composite 2014 basketball top 100. The biggest fish is Euless Trinity's Myles Turner, a five-star big man and likely "one-and-done" player. Turner officially lists 7 schools that he is still considering: Texas Longhorns, Kansas Jayhawks, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, Ohio St. Buckeyes, Arizona Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils, and Kentucky Wildcats. An eighth school, the SMU Mustangs, remain "unofficially" in the hunt.

Most basketball recruiting analysts predict that Turner will stay close to home, choosing one of the Big 12 schools on his list or SMU. The ESPN recruitniks recently conducted a roundtable prediction ($) on Turner, and the insight was pro-Texas. Out of five analysts, three posited that Turner would end up at Texas, with two others predicting Kansas.

ESPN's Reggie Rankin, a man dialed into the Texas high school hoops scene, noted that the "Longhorns have been there from the start," while Adam Finkelstein said Barnes' coaching job this season demonstrates that the "Longhorns can combine immediate minutes with a chance at immediate success."

Perhaps the most noteworthy news from both Rankin and Finkelstein is the possibility that Texas will receive Turner's final official visit. Turner has already taken officials to Ohio State (Oct 19) and Oklahoma State (Feb 1). Arizona is tentatively scheduled to receive his third official visit.

Prevailing thought was that Turner might save his official visits for farther destination schools like Kansas, Duke, or Kentucky. Turner has traveled to Austin multiple times, an an unofficial visit would be easy enough to set up. That said, it's huge news if Turner does save his final official visit for Austin. As Finkelstein states, "He is giving serious thought to staying close to home."

The house favorite right now still is Kansas, as evidenced by Turner's 247 predictions page that trends 74% Rock Chalk. With current starting center Joel Embiid likely to depart for the NBA Draft, Turner would be penciled into the starting lineup as either the 5 next to incumbent power forward Perry Ellis, or a "twin tower" duo with Lawrence-bound five-star Cliff Alexander.

Matt Scott of 247's Kansas site posted a brief update ($) on Turner's status last week. The site's inside sources also believe Turner will save his final official visit for Texas (again, good news for the Longhorns). However, Scott doesn't think Kansas is out of it by any stretch, regardless of Embiid's NBA decision.

Turner also enjoyed his recent visit to Oklahoma State, although the negative aura currently surrounding the program is akin to Texas' predicament last year when it came to Julius Randle's recruitment. I don't see the Cowboys as a major player, particularly with Markel Brown graduating and Marcus Smart likely to declare for the NBA Draft.

The dark horse in the race is SMU. Larry Brown has made a huge splash as a recruiter and a coach, and Turner's close friend, five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay of Dallas Prime Prep, signed with the Mustangs. According to multiple sources, including CBS Sports, Turner plans to take an unofficial visit tomorrow, when SMU takes on Houston. (By the by, it's not just Turner and Mudiay that have taken notice. Check out the quotes from 2015 five-star big Eljiah Thomas of Lancaster in this DMN Article.)

Despite the visits, Turner remains adamant that he will take his time in making a decision. Turner will participate in the McDonald's All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit, almost certainly staying uncommitted through those early April events. Whichever school lands the precocious five-star will be getting a heck of a player. At the very least, the Longhorns have a good shot.

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