April 11, 2012
Josiah Turner leaves Arizona; UCLA's Lane to join Pepperdine

Add Josiah Turner to the list of area college basketball players who have decided to transfer.

The 6-foot-3 point guard announced Wednesday that he was leaving the University of Arizona after a turbulent freshman season in Tucson.

It comes on the same day that former Rocklin star Brendan Lane, a 6-9 forward, announced he will enroll at Pepperdine after playing three seasons at UCLA.

Turner, who played at Sacramento High and Cordova, did not say where he plans to transfer.

He ended the season under indefinite suspension, missing the Wildcats' final four games.

"Josiah made a great deal of progress as a student-athlete in his year with us," Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement. "He will finish this semester and leave in good academic standing. All of us at Arizona wish him well in his future."

Turner arrived at Arizona rated the second-best high school point guard and No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals.com.

But his tenure was troubled almost from the beginning. He opened the season in the starting lineup but lost that spot in the second game, on Nov. 9, because he showed up late for a pregame shootaround.

Turner was suspended for a violation of team rules before Arizona played Florida on Dec. 7. Turner eventually regained his starting spot before the second suspension, which came before the Pac-12 tournament.

He averaged 6.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 29 games, 17 as a starter. He averaged 24.9 minutes.

"I learned a lot in my year at Arizona and would like to thank my coaches, teammates and the fans for all of their support," Turner said in a statement released on the team's web-site.

Turner played his freshman season at Cordova then spent 2 1/2 seasons at Sacramento before abruptly leaving the team early in the Metro Conference season of his senior year. Sac High coach Derek Swafford removed him from the team shortly after, and Turner finished his prep career at Quality Education Academy in Winston Salem, N.C.

Turner, the 2010 Bee Boys Player of the Year, becomes the third high-profile former Sac High player to decide to transfer from a D-I university.

Brittany Shine, the 2010 Bee Girls Player of the Year, has announced that she is leaving the University of Florida after her sophomore season. Last year, former All-Metro Conference guard Trevan Abraham left Rice University in Houston, Texas, and played briefly this past season at Yuba College.

Meanwhile, Lane will leave infighting-plagued UCLA for Pepperdine.

The Bee's 2009 Boys Player of the Year is graduating from UCLA this spring after playing for the Bruins the past three seasons. He will be eligible immediately and will have one season of competition at Pepperdine while he pursues a master's degree.

"Brendan brings size, skill, athleticism and experience in many areas that will be invaluable to our basketball program," said Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson in a release on the team's web-site. "His ability to score the ball from inside and out, as well as being a very good rebounder, will allow him to be a great asset for us. We will expect him to come in and impact our team immediately."

Lane played in 79 games, starting eight, and averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes during his UCLA career.

"I felt like I had a good connection with Pepperdine's coaches and I like the direction the program is going," Lane said. "It's hard to beat the academics there. It's a great opportunity for me. I want to get the most out of my final year of basketball, and do whatever I can to help the team."

Darius Nelson, The Bee's 2011 Boys Player of the Year from Sheldon, has enrolled at Cal State Fullerton after his transfer from UTEP early in his freshman season.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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