Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Turner Retooled Billikens Guard Has Same Job but New Attitude

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Turner Retooled Billikens Guard Has Same Job but New Attitude

Article excerpt

Maybe St. Louis University's Carl Turner wearied from fighting his gift - such as it is - for so long. Maybe he simply wised up; sometimes everything makes more sense when a guy becomes a senior.

Whatever the reason, the Carl Turner who has played so well for the Billikens in their first five games this season looks quite different from the young man who wore the same uniform last season.

With acceptance, there is peace.

"This year I came in really focused on what I could do," Turner said. "Once we started playing the games I felt more comfortable knowing I'd be coming off the bench."

He'll be one of the first Billikens off the bench when SLU (5-0) plays Bethune-Cookman (2-2) from Daytona Beach, Fla. Tip-off is 12:35 p.m. today at Kiel Center.

If Turner holds form, he will play about half the game and hit about half his shots, including 3-pointers. Especially 3-pointers. He'll get more more assists than turnovers. Turner, a 5-foot-11 guard, has averaged nine points a game overall but has scored more than 13 a game in his last three.

He almost wasn't here to enjoy it.

Turner has learned that playing as a reserve doesn't have to shake, rattle and roll a player's confidence. In fact, Turner never has felt more confident about his game.

"I'm a shooter," he said. "Every time I step into a gym I should be able to hit if I take a shot. Most of the time, I make my first shot at practice. I know it's always there. If you're a shooter, you always believe that when you let it go, it's going to go in or at least it's got a chance."

Turner felt that way going into last season, too. When he transferred from San Jacinto College, a two-year school in Houston, he expected to jump into considerable playing time, perhaps even start. But with fellow guards Erwin Claggett, H Waldman and Scott Highmark shooting better from the perimeter, passing better, playing better defense, working harder . . .

He didn't like the view or his job specifications.

Perhaps he remembered his scrapbook back home in Suitland, Md., crammed with photos and newspaper clippings from the two years he played for DuVal High.

Turner remembered the state championship he helped DuVal win and all the winning at San Jacinto. …

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