Turner, Buford Have 4 Weeks To Declare

By Jeff Rapp, March 27th, 2010

Turner is a goner and Buford appears to be staying put – at least those would be the early returns.

Ohio State basketball superstar Evan Turner, a 6-7 junior, is expected to receive even more national player of the year awards in the next week and at some point later in April will make an official announcement as to whether or not he will head directly to the NBA.

Turner has been mum on his decision and told reporters last night moments after OSU was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in a 76-73 loss to Tennessee that he hasn’t finalized anything yet.

When asked to give a percentage chance on actually returning for his senior season considering the bitter disappointment of the loss to the Volunteers in the Sweet 16, Turner said, “I can’t give a percentage right now. It’s just sticking in my head. I really don’t want to go out like this. I don’t even know.”

OSU guard Jon Diebler, Turner’s roommate also didn’t divulge much information but indicated that Turner is leaning on leaving.

“Obviously we would love for Evan to come back but he’s got to do what’s best for him,” Diebler said.

Meanwhile, 6-5 sophomore guard William Buford said in the Edward Jones Dome locker room in St. Louis that he planned to return and even said he never really considered exiting the program after this season. But Buford has time to change his mind.

This year’s deadline to put in for early entry into the NBA draft is the end of the day on April 25. The early entry withdrawal date – which allows prospective pros to change their mind without any NCAA repercussions – is May 8.

The 2010 NBA draft will be held June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The NBA draft lottery to determine the order of the first 14 picks is scheduled for May 18.

Turner currently is projected as a top-three pick and likely slots in second behind Kentucky point guard John Wall, the national freshman of the year.

Among the underclassmen who already have officially declared for the draft are Oklahoma State shooting guard James Anderson, Iowa State forward Craig Brackins and Michigan guard Manny Harris.