Turner opts for pros over transfer to SMU
Larry Brown's rebuilding of the SMU basketball program received a setback when highly-regarded, and often troubled, point guard Josiah Turner said he will turn pro rather than transfer to the Mustangs.
Turner told Yahoo! Sports he will sign with a team in Europe or the D-League, the NBA's developmental league, rather than make another attempt at a college career.
Turner was suspended twice in his freshman season at Arizona and had announced in May that he was transferring to SMU to play for Brown.
"My dream is to be a professional athlete in the NBA and I think this is what's going to bring me closer to it," Turner said. "In college, you get your degree and everything, but going pro is getting me closer to my dream and what I want to do in life."
Turner averaged 6.8 points and 2.4 assists in his only season at Arizona. He was suspended for a game in December and later suspended indefinitely by coach Sean Miller just before the start of the Pac-12 Tournament.
In April he was arrested by campus police on suspicion of extreme DUI and recorded blood alcohol levels of 0.15 and 0.16. The legal limit is .08.
Turner admitted in the report that he struggled with alcohol and marijuana while at Arizona but said he is now a "new person."
He said Brown took the news well.
"He actually thought it was a better move for me to go," Turner told Yahoo! "He respected my decision. It's my dream."
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire