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What Does AJ Turner Bring To Northwestern?

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They have the second commitment to take the open scholarship.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Chris Collins and his staff added their final piece to the 2017 class.

For Collins and his staff, this is a huge get. Turner fills many voids and will be an asset to Northwestern. Let’s take a look at why this is important.

Turner Will Sit One and Play Two

Turner will sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, but this will benefit Northwestern in the long-run. Turner will have the opportunity to come in and learn the system for a year, and then compete for an open starting spot in the backcourt in the 2017-2018 season. Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey will graduate after this upcoming season and if Northwestern wants to be a perennial NCAA Tournament team, Turner can help.

Turner Was Under Recruited, but He Shows Potential

Turner was ranked in Rivals Top 150 players coming out of high school. In his first two seasons at Boston College, he played starters minutes. The pressure of this and the experience of two starting seasons under his belt will be very important for him moving forward. He will be able to use the experience he received at Boston College to prepare him to start in the Big Ten.

Although Boston College finished the season at 9-23, the ACC is one of the best basketball conferences in college basketball. In terms of level of competition and speed of the game, Turner won’t have a hard time adjusting to the Big Ten.

Turner has Played with Northwestern Players

Turner played with fellow Northwestern signee Anthony Gaines in high school at a prep school in New Hampshire. The two of them will have the opportunity to reunite on the court in Gaines’ sophomore season, and the chance to play together again. By Collins bringing in two players from the same school, that will help the team chemistry continue to grow.

In situations similar this at other institutions, both players have benefited in the long run when one transfers in. Turner will be able to watch from the bench during game and help Gaines with his game while practicing with the team. The chemistry will also benefit Northwestern in the long run, as the backcourt will need to continue to be strong after Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey leave. With a wing player in Turner and a guard in Gaines, they could be similar to Lindsey and McIntosh.

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Overall, this is a very important pick up for Northwestern. Turner was recruited by Collins when he was in high school, so they already had an established relationship. Turner also has the connection to Gaines, which will be important on and off the court for both of them.

Although Turner sits out a year, there is a huge benefit for him to come in and learn the system for a year. Northwestern will be four guards deep next year with Gaines and Brown on the bench. When McIntosh and Lindsey graduate, the depth will be cut in half and allow for Turner to step in and take on a starting role.

This commitment comes just days after Collins agreed to stay at Northwestern through 2025.

A contract extension and a commitment?

Not a bad week in the offseason.