Sporting News college basketball Player of the Year: Evan Turner, Ohio State
Before a January ceremony honoring Ohio State's 1960 national championship team, a nervous Evan Turner broke the trophy he was to hand Jerry Lucas.
It wouldn't be the last precious item he'd break that belonged to a Buckeyes legend.
During a record-setting junior season, "Evan Almighty" piled up a record seven Big Ten player of the week awards despite missing more than four weeks with a fracture in his lower back.
He joined Jim Jackson as the only Buckeyes with 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists.
He leads the league in scoring and rebounding—as a point guard.
For all of that, Turner joins Lucas, the 1961 and '62 winner, as the only Buckeyes to be named Sporting News' national Player of the Year.
"He breaks his back, and they don't do so well." Northwestern forward John Shurna told SN. "He comes back, and everyone else around him plays so well."
That's just one of the qualities Big Ten opponents admire about Turner.
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith compares him to Hall of Famer Magic Johnson— "a legit 6-7 guard that can do it all."
Michigan State forward Draymond Green sees some LeBron James in Turner—"because he scores, rebounds and gets everyone involved while leading his team."
Buckeyes teammate John Diebler says Turner's game is reminiscent of Scottie Pippen's—"He can play multiple positions on offense and can guard anyone."
How to stop him, as Big Ten and NCAA Tournament teams will try to do in the coming weeks?
"I don't know how you do it, but make him pass," Penn State guard Talor Battle told SN.
"Try to force him to shoot 3s," Shurna said. "He made a couple against us, and I texted him and said, 'Where did that come from?' "