Huskies look to Elston Turner for perimeter offense
The Washington Huskies have waited all season for a perimeter scoring option to take pressure off leading scorers Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Stanford @ UW, 7:30 p.m., FSN
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In the first half at Arizona, Washington sharpshooter Elston Turner reminded the Huskies what they've been missing for most of the season.
"When all of the pieces are clicking and I can help out with my shot, we can be pretty tough," Turner said. "I know that. I'm not the only one who can hit the outside shot. ... But when we do, we're a different team."
Turner drained three of four three-pointers before intermission against the Wildcats, which kept the Huskies in the game and added a new dimension to UW's offense.
He finished with 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting and newfound confidence.
"These last couple of days I just put it into my mind, regardless of where I am, I have to be ready," Turner said before Washington (10-5, 1-3 Pac-10) faces Stanford (8-7, 2-1) tonight at Edmundson Pavilion.
The Huskies, shooting 30.5 percent from three-point range, have waited all season for a perimeter scoring option to take pressure off leading scorers Quincy Pondexter (averaging 19.5 points per game) and Isaiah Thomas (18.3).
"I think early on in the season, based on our preseason play, people asked about who is going to be our third scorer. I'm thinking there are a number of candidates, but Elston Turner is playing in such a way that he can be that guy," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "It's just been, at times, maybe his effort wasn't where it needs to be at times and more inconsistency.
"He's a shooter and hasn't gotten time to get in there and get a rhythm, maybe that was the case."
Turner admitted he didn't start the season the way he wanted.
"My practices early on held me back," he said. "Some practices, I'd have really good ones and some not really. I had a stretch early in the season, a week before the season started where I had the worst stretch of practices I've ever had.
"That's pretty much the main reason why I started out in a hole."
Turner began the season on the bench. He started three games (against Texas Tech, Cal State Northridge and Georgetown), but against Oregon he played just four minutes.
"Me and coach Romar talked about it," Turner said. "He saw I was having some problems. He said I wasn't myself and playing up to my potential."
Turner, who averages 5.4 points per game, believes Sunday's game might be a turning point.
"I still think this season can be a breakout season for me," he said. "We got a lot of games still in the Pac-10 and the Pac-10 tournament and hopefully the NCAA tournament.
"It was just that one week where I was not really feeling it and started out in a hole. I'm much better now and feeling good.
"It's amazing what confidence can do for a shooter."
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or email@example.com
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