Transfer guard Turner ready to go for NC State

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 7, 2013 

N.C. State, NC State, basketball, ACC, Dail

N.C. State's Tyler Lewis, left, battles with Ralston Turner for position during a drill in the Wolfpack's practice Thursday, October 24, 2013, at the Dail Basketball Center in Raleigh, N.C.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

  • Appalachian State at N.C. State

    When: 7 p.m.

    Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh

    TV/Radio: 101.5-WRAL

In two preseason games, N.C. State guard Ralston Turner had seven rebounds, five assists, five steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers.

The LSU transfer also averaged 15.5 points and shot 56.2 percent from the floor.

After sitting out a season under NCAA transfer rules, Turner is willing to do what the team needs him to do. How about drive the bus or cook the pregame meal?

“If that’s what coach wants me to do, I’ll do that, too,” Turner said.

Turner is a key part of the Wolfpack’s remodeled lineup. Unlike the four freshmen or junior college transfer Desmond Lee, Turner has major college experience. He started 57 games in two seasons at LSU, and averaged 10.5 points for his career.

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried is counting on Turner to add some maturity and versatility to a young roster.

“He’s one of those guys that does a little bit of everything,” Gottfried said.

In a tight preseason game against UNC-Pembroke, Turner had 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals in a 96-85 win.

He made 7 of 10 field goals against Pembroke and was 2 of 6 in the 87-62 win over Morehouse, with a pair of 3-pointers.

Without Scott Wood, the school’s career leader in 3-pointers, Turner will be asked to help fill the void from the outside.

Turner does not have a traditional release on his shot, and there’s a funky spin on it, but he is effective. He made 95 of 297 of his 3-point shots at LSU.

Turner said he’s tried to adopt a more classic shooting stroke but he keeps going back to what works. Gottfried has been pleased with Turner’s contributions.

“He’s really shooting the ball well right now and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”

Gottfried also praised Turner’s defensive ability, which will be a welcomed change from last year’s perimeter group.

At 6 feet 5 inches and 205 pounds, Turner has the size and length to help in the post, and will have to with forward Jordan Vandenberg on the shelf for another four to six weeks with an ankle injury.

After watching the 2012-13 season, and going 19 months – as he is apt to point out – without playing, Turner’s ready to pitch in where he’s needed.

“I’m excited to play,” Turner said. “Last year was tough to watch all the games, so I’m looking forward to my chance to play.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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