Turner Tops at UConn

By Richard Kent
Updated: March 28, 2006

CONNECTICUT—Senior Barbara Turner of the UConn women’s basketball team is a leader. No ifs ands or buts. The 6’ forward from Cleveland, Ohio is actually a bit shorter than her listed height but plays much taller. She had a big responsibility a couple of years ago when Diana Taurasi, the spiritual leader of the team, graduated. The burden has fallen on the shoulders of Turner, Ann Strother and Wilnett Crockett. But don’t fool anybody. Turner is the stud. One only has to look back to this past Sunday evening when she hit a nearly impossible shot at the buzzer to beat Georgia to advance to the Elite Eight. That is Turner in a nutshell. She jumped up and down but didn’t even seem phased by the accomplishment. She is a very humble player.

Turner is a top, if not the top, Husky offensive player. She has averaged double figures in each of her first three seasons. Last season she was ranked second on a team with an average of 11.0 ppg despite playing the majority of the season with nagging injuries.

She is a two time high school All American from East Technical High School and was heavily recruited nationally. She chose UConn because she liked the prospect of playing for Coach Geno Auriemma.

This year UConn was not even picked to win the Big East Championship and actually lost twice to Rutgers during the season. They did win the Big East Tournament largely through the efforts of Turner with a thrilling win over West Virginia.

She started 33 out of the team’s 35 games and shot an amazing .542 from the field. She also led the team with rebounds in 258 and was third in blocks with 28. Whenever UConn needed a tough shot to be made the team looked to Turner and she usually responded. The question is will she respond tonight against Duke?

She has aspirations to play in the WNBA and many pick her to be a late first round selection in the draft which will be held next week in Boston after the Final Four. Based on her performance at UConn there is little doubt that she will star in the WNBA. She is that good, has that much desire and that much of a skill set. Watch out, WNBA, Turner is on the way.