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Josiah Turner: Former Arizona Point Guard Looking at Joining Larry Brown at SMU

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18:  Deville Smith #33 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs drives the ball against Josiah Turner #11 of the Arizona WIldcats during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs Cancer at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Casey CroweFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2012

Arizona's basketball program has seen the last of freshman point guard Josiah Turner, but that doesn't mean he's done allegedly making ill-advised moves in Tucson just yet.

As reported by the Arizona Daily Star, Turner was arrested by campus police on suspicion of extreme DUI after running a red light last Thursday morning.

That hasn't deterred brand new Southern Methodist Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, who is said to be wooing the former high-school phenom in spite of the potential headaches, according to CBSSports.com.

The University of Arizona police reports state that Turner, who was driving a 1993 Infiniti, is charged with having a blood-alcohol level higher than .08. Because he's just 19, he was also charged with minor in possession of alcohol and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol as a minor.

Via Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star:

“Turner just kept stating that he was driving his bro’s car and he just wanted to park it and get back to his dorm,” an officer’s statement said, adding that Turner was “very unsteady and unable to give clear and concise answers.”

Turner—who was the only eligible true point guard on the roster before departing—was a 5-star recruit rated the No. 3 PG in the nation in 2011 by ESPN and Scout, and there were plenty of suitors back then (UCLA, Louisville, Kansas, Oregon). He's likely to have had his pick of a number of tourney-worthy programs this time around, though playing for a coach with NBA experience, like Brown, may appeal to him.

According to CBS Sports, he's set to visit Brown at SMU on Wednesday. That seems like a logical fit.

Turner is the biggest bust of the Sean Miller era so far, averaging just 6.8 points and 2.4 assists, shooting 24 percent from three-point range, and serving a pair of suspensions. And, now, he's capped it with an arrest on the way out of town.

He's not the only one who's gone from Tucson, however.

Junior big Kyryl Natyazhko also opted to leave the program right around the time that Turner made his decision to jet.

Natyazhko is going to pursue professional opportunities overseas. A 4-star recruit in Miller's first class, the Ukrainian center was buried in the rotation as a junior, rarely seeing the floor outside of garbage time.

With the post-heavy crew of recruits entering this season, along with an emerging Angelo Chol, Natyazhko was unlikely to see his role grow in his final year of eligibility.

Though not a problem child like Turner apparently was at times, the Ukrainian did not develop as a player, his numbers actually decreasing the last two seasons.

The departure of Turner cleared up the scholarship situation.

Over the last month, Arizona netted Cochise College forward Matt Korcheck and Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell, a point guard, who will each redshirt the upcoming season. They also nailed down a commit from Southern California sharpshooter Jacob Hazzard as a preferred walk-on.

Hazzard is the grandson of UCLA legend Walt Hazzard.

McConnell's commitment pushed Arizona over the scholarship limit, forcing a transfer. Turner evened things out by heading out of Tucson.

And with Natyazhko gone, there is an open slot for Arizona to pursue another guard.

Sean Miller is said to be chasing Xavier transfer Mark Lyons, a point guard who the Arizona coach recruited out of high school. Kentucky and Kansas are also said to be in the mix for Lyons.

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