Pacers' Myles Turner Says He 'Really Wanted' to Go to Duke Before Texas Commit

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 28: Myles Turner #52 of the Texas Longhorns controls the ball against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on February 28, 2015 in Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas won 69-64. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner played one collegiate season at Texas, but he recently explained to ESPN's Jordan Schultz that his original plan was to go to Duke:

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report

.@Original_Turner originally wanted to go to @dukembb and was then going to sign with @kuhoops the morning of his commitment... but @texasmbb felt like home. Says Myles on Hang Time: “I love my Longhorns.” 🤘🟠 https://t.co/YBFVsXlmtm

The Texas native said he "really wanted to go to Duke" until Jahlil Okafor committed to the team early on.

"The competitor in me is like, I'm not about to go team up with him, I gotta go against him," Turner said.

Okafor was considered the No. 1 recruit in the 2014 class by 247 Sports' composite rankings, while Turner was No. 6 overall. 

The Blue Devils thrived without Turner, winning the 2015 national championship with Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. Okafor was a consensus All-American during his freshman season before being picked No. 3 overall in the 2015 draft.

Turner was an All-Big-12 selection at Texas thanks mostly to his defense, averaging 2.6 blocks per game. He added 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for a team that finished 20-14 on the season.

The Longhorns earned a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament and lost in the Round of 64.

The 6'11" player ended up with the Pacers as the No. 11 pick in the 2015 draft and has been productive in the NBA, landing a four-year, $72 million contract extension in 2018.

"I have zero regrets about going to the University of Texas," Turner said.