Phil Turner hasn’t gained any more clarity on why Mississippi State pulled his scholarship, but he’s eager to move on.
On Thursday, the 6-foot-3 guard from Grenada said he will be transferring to Delta State to play his senior season of basketball. He also considered Arkansas Tech, Georgetown (Ky.), Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky.
Turner said he was told by DSU coach Jason Conner that he’ll be the point guard. At MSU, he played the off-guard and forward positions.
“That’s kind of how they sold me, I guess,” Turner said.
Turner was all set to be a key piece of MSU’s team this coming season when he received a letter in late June saying his scholarship had been pulled. Coach Rick Stansbury said it was due to the uncertainty surrounding Turner’s return to the team.
Turner said he had wavered on returning but never said it outright, and he said coaches never called him to ask. He’s not spoken with Stansbury since his scholarship was revoked, nor does he plan to.
“I haven’t gotten any clarity on it, but I guess the satisfaction is that I can go play somewhere else and play the point and just try to continue my career,” he said. “I appreciate Mississippi State for all they’ve done and the opportunities they’ve given me, but you’ve got to move on.”
Last year, mostly in a reserve role, Turner averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as MSU went 24-12, won the SEC Western Division and reached the second round of the NIT. He started as a sophomore, usually playing the four position, but his leaping ability helped him notch 8.5 points and 5.5 boards per game as the Bulldogs won the SEC Tournament.
Delta State was 19-8 overall, including 10-4 in Gulf South Conference play, last season. Conner is 72-40 in four years in Cleveland.
“Hopefully I can come down there and be a leader on the team, play the point position,” Turner said. “Hopefully, I can facilitate some wins for us.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or email@example.com.
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal