Myles Turner reacts after being selected 11th overall by the Indiana Pacers during the NBA Draft Thursday night. Kathy Willens AP
Myles Turner reacts after being selected 11th overall by the Indiana Pacers during the NBA Draft Thursday night. Kathy Willens AP

University of Texas

Myles Turner goes to Indiana with 11th overall pick in NBA Draft

By Dwain Price

dprice@star-telegram.com

June 25, 2015 07:58 PM

UPDATED June 26, 2015 07:59 AM

NBA dreams became a reality for former Euless Trinity and Texas star Myles Turner on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Turner was selected 11th overall by the Indiana Pacers during the NBA Draft.

“He’s got a decent post game. He has a good feel for making passes. He has good skills. If you have that, a good body and athleticism to match the speed and athleticism at this level, then you’ve got a chance,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “We feel strongly that we can develop him into a very, very good offensive player and two-way player.

“We’ll see what the roster looks like. Anything can happen. Minutes are going to be earned. We’ll go through Summer League and watch him develop and see how fast he picks things up. He has an NBA body. His intelligence level is high. He fits into what we’re trying to do. We’re excited to have him.”

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Over the past two-plus weeks, Turner worked out for Utah, Indiana, Denver, Phoenix, Charlotte and Miami, and finished a workout in New York on Tuesday with the Knicks.

On Thursday, it was the Pacers who took the 6-foot-11 center.

“It feels great. Indiana is basketball country,” Turner told Pacers.com. “I went on my workout. I feel like I had a good showing. They expressed interest, but I had no idea who else they were considering. They definitely expressed an interest in me.”

This marks the second year in a row two players from the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been lottery picks in the same draft. Lottery picks are the top 14 selections.

Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who attended Arlington Grace Prep and Prime Prep in Dallas, went to Denver with the seventh overall pick Thursday.

Last year Marcus Smart of Flower Mound Marcus went sixth to Boston, and Julius Randle of Plano went seventh to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Turner was a five-star recruit and rated the No. 2 player in the nation coming out of Euless Trinity before signing with Texas.

In his one season with the Longhorns, Turner was selected the Big 12 freshman of the year and All-Big 12 third team. He was also selected to the Big 12 all-defensive team and the all-newcomer team.

The one season was not an issue with Vogel.

“He’s young. He’s going to take some time. We feel like his upside two years, three years from now, may be more exciting than what we see this year,” Vogel said. “But we do feel he will contribute this year. Certainly, he’s a young prospect. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about him.”

Turner played in all 34 games (seven starts) at Texas. He led the team in blocked shots (89) and rebounding (6.5 rebounds) and ranked third in scoring (10.1 points) while averaging 22.2 minutes per game. He made 17 3-pointers.

“He has a 7-foot wingspan with the ability to shoot with range,” Vogel said. “We do want to play faster and he fits that style of play. On top of wanting to run more, we’re going to try to play with more spacing on the offensive end.

“To have a guy that can fill the role on the defensive end as a rim protector and shoot the ball as well as he can shoot it is going to be a great asset to us.”

The 89 blocks ranked second on the UT freshman-season chart behind Chris Mihm’s 90 in 1997-98). He’s fourth on the school’s single-season list.

Turner reached double figures in scoring 13 times and in rebounding seven times during the 2014-15 season. He also posted four double-doubles and shot 84 percent from the free throw line.

Including Turner, since the NBA Draft began in 1947, 42 Longhorns have been selected. Texas has produced 15 first-round selections and 11 second-round picks in program history. Raymond Downs, a sixth-round pick by St. Louis in 1957, was the first Longhorn to be drafted.

The Pacers drafted 6-2 Oregon shooting guard Joseph Young in the second round, the 43rd overall pick.

Inside the Huddle - Myles Turner

The Star-Telegram profiled Myles Turner when he was one of the top recruits in the nation at Euless Trinity High School.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice