It comes full circle as Elston Turner Jr. gets crack against Vols' team his father was slighted by

Texas A&M's Elston Turner shoots under pressure from Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Texas A&M's Elston Turner shoots under pressure from Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

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A 52-year-old Elston Turner Sr. will oversee the court at Reed Arena Saturday. Tucking in a maroon and white jersey for the opening tipoff, No. 31 will likely give his pop a glance and an acknowledging nod.

And with that, the poetic symmetry will grow as thick as Whitman’s beard.

“It comes full circle — the same name,” Turner Sr. said Thursday.

Elston Turner Jr. is a senior at Texas A&M (16-10, 6-7 SEC). He’s the kid wearing 31 that dropped 40 points on 20,000 stunned faces at Rupp Arena in January. He’ll try to do the same to Tennessee (15-10, 7-6) Saturday afternoon (4 p.m. TV: MyVLT).

More on that later.

Years back, Turner Jr. was a familiar face in Knoxville. He’d accompany his father for trips to the old neighborhood. Turner Sr. has clout around the intersection of Dandridge Ave. and Wilder Place. A star at Austin-East High School, he led the Roadrunners to the 1977 state title before excelling at Ole Miss, jet-setting the country as an eight-year player in the NBA and establishing himself as a fine basketball mind over the past 16 years as an NBA assistant coach.

As he grew from an NBA rookie to a tenured assistant coach through the decades, Turner Sr., an admitted momma’s boy, scheduled summer visits to Knoxville to see his mother, Virginia Turner.

When he was a pup, Turner Jr. accompanied dad for the trips home. He climbed his family tree, meeting aunts, uncles and cousins. He got to know the faces in the neighborhood.

Years later, when the pup grew into a sweet-shooting, 6-foot-5 bulldog, Turner Sr. found himself with a son ranked as one of the top 100 basketball recruits in the country.

That’s when Bruce Pearl called. The former Tennessee coach had a contradiction to resolve — in the late 70s, when Elston Turner Sr. blossomed into a high school standout living 2.8 miles from the UT campus, Vols coach Ray Mears made a crucial misstep.

“It’s a long story with me,” Turner said by phone from Phoenix, where he still lives after being dismissed by the Suns in January when head coach Alvin Gentry was fired. “We won the state and I was MVP — the whole nine. I was right under their nose and they just didn’t offer me anything. Not even a phone call.”

Slighted, Turner Sr. went ahead and scored 1,805 points and grabbed 828 rebounds in four years at Ole Miss. He captained a 1981 team that stood as the first group of Rebels to ever make the NCAA tournament.

He also made it a point to remind Tennessee of its oversight. Turner Sr. beat the Vols six times in 10 tries and ousted them from two SEC tournaments.

Now it’s Junior’s turn.

“My son knows my story and he’s looking forward to playing in the game,” said Turner Sr., who is traveling to College Station for the affair.

Clarifying things with a resonating laugh, he added, “But that was 20-some-odd years ago — there’s nothing motivating him in terms of what I went through.”

We’ll see about that.

Even with Pearl’s best sales pitch, Turner Jr. never landed at UT. Living in Sacramento while dad coached with the Kings from 2000 to 2006, he couldn’t pry himself from the great northwest. He accepted a scholarship to Washington.

After two years with the Huskies, Turner Jr. transferred to A&M. The elder was on Rick Adelman’s Houston Rockets staff at the time.

Now, at 16.5 points per game, Turner Jr. leads the Aggies in scoring.

“I’m so happy for him and a lot of people in Knoxville feel the same way,” Turner Sr. said.

But not all the people. The Vols have to figure out how to slow down Turner Jr. Saturday. Josh Richardson, coach Cuonzo Martin’s finest defender, has drawn the assignment.

“Elston Turner is a really good guard,” Martin said. “He does a great job attacking the rim, making shots and shooting the pull-up.”

And with that skill set, Richardson better be up for the challenge.

Back in Knoxville, meanwhile, some conflicted UT fans from the old neighborhood will be pulling for No. 31 today.

Payback?

Retribution?

No, no, claims Turner Sr. Bygones are bygones and it’s just another game for his son.

Or something like that.

“He’s been down there (Knoxville) tons of times,” Turner Sr. said. “There are people that know him there and he knows a lot of people there. So he wants to perform well for them.”

And for pop.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 76

voloffaith writes:

Nice slam to the face article.....revenge is the cry!!!! No daddy took care of that himself....but kns appears to be stirring the pot to get something.....hot........O well GO VOLS!!!!

wigmeister writes:

Nothing new here. TN coaches in a lot of sports have ignored the local talent. Still the same today!

tovolny writes:

OKAY Sr., you let the calf out of the chute...NOW lets see how good Jr. is at roping that dogie. Then, if you rope it, you have to flip it over and tie three legs without missing a beat. And, you do this with a lot of folks watching. Do it, I'll tip my hat. Fail, I'll say "nice try." Better have a good hoss, because he needs to team up and do his part. Good luck!

CoverOrange writes:

Cut Ray Mears a break, he was having personal issues of his own right at that time. I'm sure it was nothing personal.

eduardo writes:

Ive seen this movie before...doesn't end well for us!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Kid's good.
UT 75 Miss.St. 70

Rebounds!!! Lot's of rebounds. "Get some bounds man"!!!

Tadvol writes:

The reason Elston Sr was never contacted was the fact that AE had trashed Stokely after a loss to arch rival Fulton in about 1970 .. UT held a grudge against that school for years !!

volnbig11land writes:

wow, sounds like Sr can't let it go, and the local knsragmag is looking for an angle. where is ole ja anyway....

volnbig11land writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

wow, sounds like Sr can't let it go, and the local knsragmag is looking for an angle. where is ole ja anyway....

p.s. showing my age; I can remember Mears. He seemed to do pretty well for himself while at U.T.

Maybe there was a reason he didn't go after Sr......

Tadvol writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

p.s. showing my age; I can remember Mears. He seemed to do pretty well for himself while at U.T.

Maybe there was a reason he didn't go after Sr......

I just told you why UT didnt go after him .. AE broke trphy cases .. trashed the place .. UT wouldnt have anyhting to do with AE till 1980's ...

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Kid's good.
UT 75 Miss.St. 70

Rebounds!!! Lot's of rebounds. "Get some bounds man"!!!

Miss. St.? Huh. This cat plays for A&M who we play tomorrow.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Umm, yeah, I remember Turner. S##t happens. It turned out great for him, so why gripe??

So, now his son spurned UT....so perhaps UT has the ax to grind??

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Cut Ray Mears a break, he was having personal issues of his own right at that time. I'm sure it was nothing personal.

Can you refresh my memory on Mears??

Madkels writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hate to rain on your parade, but no one cares about your post. Thanks for playing though.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Miss. St.? Huh. This cat plays for A&M who we play tomorrow.

lol UT75 TexA&M 70 then.

I know we play (today now) them. Is why I did a predict! editors!!*&^%$$hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go ahead and laugh.hehe I am. Honest mistake. Honestly I don't know much about either Miss St or Tex A&M. I don't care that much either except to beat them. You children are being a little silly I think. some of you only come on here to catch mistakes like this so I'm glad I made some people happy.lol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Madkels:

Hate to rain on your parade, but no one cares about your post. Thanks for playing though.

It's ok Madkels. I DID make a mistake. Not the first one either. These guys just want to put anything UT down. They hate us. We win too much I suppose.

SevierVol writes:

in response to Tadvol:

I just told you why UT didnt go after him .. AE broke trphy cases .. trashed the place .. UT wouldnt have anyhting to do with AE till 1980's ...

If I remember correctly, they also destroyed seats, spread trash, fighting, etc. It was basically a small riot.

Dickattrade writes:

Keep marching to the beat of the same drummer.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Nice slam to the face article.....revenge is the cry!!!! No daddy took care of that himself....but kns appears to be stirring the pot to get something.....hot........O well GO VOLS!!!!

Exactly, this kid will play for himself (not for his father's revenge)..Good grief, KNS are a bunch of yellow journalist, always trying to hype or incite a dead issue. So, according to KNS UT should make sure they lose so both father/son can get past this issue and avoid suicide?

underthehill writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Exactly, this kid will play for himself (not for his father's revenge)..Good grief, KNS are a bunch of yellow journalist, always trying to hype or incite a dead issue. So, according to KNS UT should make sure they lose so both father/son can get past this issue and avoid suicide?

It is obvious they can't pull anything over on you..KNS should just hire you to monitor their work before they print it and such nonsense could be avoided..quick..notify UT what is going on so they won't fall into this trap..

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

I played High Schooll ball back when Elston Turner was tearing up the nets in K Town. I knew UT was making a HUGE mistake in not signing him. He came back to Knoxville and made UT pay for it dropping about 30 plus points.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

It is obvious they can't pull anything over on you..KNS should just hire you to monitor their work before they print it and such nonsense could be avoided..quick..notify UT what is going on so they won't fall into this trap..

It's obvious you are an obtuse JA..What's your major malfunction?? I believe I was responding to another post and you butted in..GTH!

underthehill writes:

Well excuse me..I thought you were sharing your vast knowledge of your sports writing expertise with all us first graders..as KNS does..if you wish it to be restricted you should consider having your own site..this one is property of the KNS..

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

Another mistake KNS. Elston Turner Sr. is not 52 years old. He was born in 1959. You do the math.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

Well excuse me..I thought you were sharing your vast knowledge of your sports writing expertise with all us first graders..as KNS does..if you wish it to be restricted you should consider having your own site..this one is property of the KNS..

Hey, I was posting my opinion and you took exception to it..I guess you're the one that needs some comforting, because my statement stands. I feel KNS always looks for agenda and non-stories to oppose UT and incite the opposing teams fan base..I'm certainly not caring if some athlete got snubbed by UT 30 years ago, but that's just me. You might be a national inquirer type guy that indulges in this type of article.

underthehill writes:

If you have such a negative opinion of KNS ..why are you free loading on their site..I pay for their paper to be delivered to my home and it is folks like me who make it possible for those who don't subscribe to have access to this site that is paid for by KNS..have you ever heard about ..biting the hand that is feeding you..let me know if you can't figure it out and I'll make it more simple..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

If you have such a negative opinion of KNS ..why are you free loading on their site..I pay for their paper to be delivered to my home and it is folks like me who make it possible for those who don't subscribe to have access to this site that is paid for by KNS..have you ever heard about ..biting the hand that is feeding you..let me know if you can't figure it out and I'll make it more simple..

I pay for the CA and GV247, FYI!! Have some whine with that crow..

laraccoon writes:

in response to underthehill:

If you have such a negative opinion of KNS ..why are you free loading on their site..I pay for their paper to be delivered to my home and it is folks like me who make it possible for those who don't subscribe to have access to this site that is paid for by KNS..have you ever heard about ..biting the hand that is feeding you..let me know if you can't figure it out and I'll make it more simple..

i guess im guilty of free loading off your .50-.60 cent a day too [approx. subscription price] , let me know where to send and ill drop a thank you card n the mail .

mborokyvol writes:

That was very nice piece about Turner. Cry me a river! Wrie something about the Vols, not their opponent! Richardson will shut the pup down today. Him and pop can cry together about the mean old Vols!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Well excuse me..I thought you were sharing your vast knowledge of your sports writing expertise with all us first graders..as KNS does..if you wish it to be restricted you should consider having your own site..this one is property of the KNS..

What I don't understand is over the years Ive read hundreds of good posts by yourself and now today your full of pi$$ and vinegar..Between me MocandVol and Beare we have over 10,000 posts..Some here are respected friends and look forward to daily interaction and have earned the respect of our fellow Vol fans..I doubt you care about my opinion but I don't dig your snipes at my fellow VFL's

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to mborokyvol:

That was very nice piece about Turner. Cry me a river! Wrie something about the Vols, not their opponent! Richardson will shut the pup down today. Him and pop can cry together about the mean old Vols!

That was priceless..LMAO!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

What I don't understand is over the years Ive read hundreds of good posts by yourself and now today your full of pi$$ and vinegar..Between me MocandVol and Beare we have over 10,000 posts..Some here are respected friends and look forward to daily interaction and have earned the respect of our fellow Vol fans..I doubt you care about my opinion but I don't dig your snipes at my fellow VFL's

Thx for the backup L-n-P..

CoverOrange writes:

in response to underthehill:

If you have such a negative opinion of KNS ..why are you free loading on their site..I pay for their paper to be delivered to my home and it is folks like me who make it possible for those who don't subscribe to have access to this site that is paid for by KNS..have you ever heard about ..biting the hand that is feeding you..let me know if you can't figure it out and I'll make it more simple..

Look to the top and right side of the page. It's called advertising. Your subscription dollars contribute very little.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Can you refresh my memory on Mears??

Had a nervous break down (as it was termed then) in 1977 and never really recovered.

SummittsCourt writes:

Another joke of an article on KNS. What a waste of time.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Look to the top and right side of the page. It's called advertising. Your subscription dollars contribute very little.

Good point, CO..It also helps to be controversial and bring in huge amounts of responses and debates. I don't think UTH realizes that bad publicity is welcome as much as good publicity..It's still publicity either way..

vol98champ writes:

It seems strange to me that Vol fans have to explain what really happened back in the 70's. Thanks for the memories.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to wigmeister:

Nothing new here. TN coaches in a lot of sports have ignored the local talent. Still the same today!

Who are they ignoring? GBO VFL17

VolGrad writes:

A tale..., full of sound and fury..., signifying nothing....

Go Vols! Beat the Aggies!!!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to pgibson:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

eggzactly what I was thimking!

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

eggzactly what I was thimking!

DO I give a flying f#@% what either one of you think? No! And you are probably the same pompous arshole whith multiple screenames.

underthehill writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Look to the top and right side of the page. It's called advertising. Your subscription dollars contribute very little.

good point..I wondered how KNS could provide community services on the very small amount they get from me..so I guess since they are getting advertising dollars ..you are not a free loader..makes sense to me..

underthehill writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Good point, CO..It also helps to be controversial and bring in huge amounts of responses and debates. I don't think UTH realizes that bad publicity is welcome as much as good publicity..It's still publicity either way..

That is a good point Bi- but I do think the intent of KNS is for comments to be about the content of articles and news and not about the reporters who create them or their competency..KNS pays them and I think they do a much better job than any of you in judging what they should and should not write..I'd hate for anyone to try to sell what you or me write..I'm not impressed by you, me, or any of the other critics of those who write for KNS..and you are correct about being controversial..wouldn't be much fun if we all agreed on everything ..would it..so if Turner has a big day and UT loses..it is the fault of KNS for writing this story..if UT wins ..credit goes to those who have exposed them for trying to harm UT by writing things like this..is this controversial..

underthehill writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

What I don't understand is over the years Ive read hundreds of good posts by yourself and now today your full of pi$$ and vinegar..Between me MocandVol and Beare we have over 10,000 posts..Some here are respected friends and look forward to daily interaction and have earned the respect of our fellow Vol fans..I doubt you care about my opinion but I don't dig your snipes at my fellow VFL's

I certainly do care about you and your friends right to post and I have no intent to be critical or interfere..I am making a point that I do not see the need for anyone to think they have a right to decide what KNS should or should not report as news..or to make personal attacks on the those who write the articles..you have a choice as to whether or not you should read the articles..why do you chose to make negative comments about KNS writers..

underthehill writes:

in response to laraccoon:

i guess im guilty of free loading off your .50-.60 cent a day too [approx. subscription price] , let me know where to send and ill drop a thank you card n the mail .

It has been explained to me that KNS makes their money on advertising..thank the advertisers by trading with them..

johnlg00 writes:

Back to the point, it is a little odd to me that some of the greatest players in UT basketball history have come from K'ville, such as Ron Widby, Bill Justus, Jimmy England, and several others. Yet almost ever since, there have been several guys from this area that have gone other places and become stars, such as Elston Turner and Tony White's sons. Then there are a whole slew of others from elsewhere in the state, and not just Memphis, who have gone on to star for other top-notch programs, many of whom never got much respect from whoever was coaching at UT at the time.

A program like ours which can't count on luring the "can't-miss" types from all over the country can't afford NOT to know who the rising stars are in their own backyard and get in on these guys EARLY before our opponents get a chance to poach them. It is almost like a reverse case of "not invented here" syndrome; out-of-state players almost HAVE to be better than our own guys. Besides, if they get good enough that other good programs want them, we can always swoop in at the last minute with an offer that they will jump on because they grew up "bleeding orange". Well, clearly that is nonsense!

We may not be able to fill up a whole nationally-competitive roster with guys from Tennessee, though on one of Jerry Green's better teams every starter was from within the state, but we can come a HECK of a lot closer doing that in basketball than we can in football. It should almost be a RULE that in-state guys should start showing up on our recruiting boards no later than their freshman years in HS. Just initiating enough contact with HS coaches around the state to KNOW who these young prospects are can set the stage for getting in early on the true "can't-miss" prospects that show up EVERY YEAR in this state. Get it done, CCM!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

That is a good point Bi- but I do think the intent of KNS is for comments to be about the content of articles and news and not about the reporters who create them or their competency..KNS pays them and I think they do a much better job than any of you in judging what they should and should not write..I'd hate for anyone to try to sell what you or me write..I'm not impressed by you, me, or any of the other critics of those who write for KNS..and you are correct about being controversial..wouldn't be much fun if we all agreed on everything ..would it..so if Turner has a big day and UT loses..it is the fault of KNS for writing this story..if UT wins ..credit goes to those who have exposed them for trying to harm UT by writing things like this..is this controversial..

Dude/dudette? It has nothing to do with our writing styles..It has to do with freedom to express our ideas/comments. I apologize if you think I went off topic, but you started an argument based on your personal feelings and IMO disregarded mine and everyone else's posting on this site. And for the record, I usually enjoy your comments..Today you were unyielding and arrogant..Good day.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Bark_at_the_Moon:

DO I give a flying f#@% what either one of you think? No! And you are probably the same pompous arshole whith multiple screenames.

I didn't see where you stated anything offensive..Rock on!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to underthehill:

good point..I wondered how KNS could provide community services on the very small amount they get from me..so I guess since they are getting advertising dollars ..you are not a free loader..makes sense to me..

It's the only rational reason I can come up with for why KNS took GVX from a subscription site to non-subscription. Easier to sell to one guy's business for a $1000 than 1000 people for $1. Same reasoning applies to health insurance, but that is a different debate.

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