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December 9, 2008

Turner emerges star for Ohio State

His coaches want Ohio State sophomore guard Evan Turner to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket.

He seems to be getting the message.

Turner, who is 6 feet 7, scored all 19 of his points against Miami in the second half as the Buckeyes overcame a 36-22 halftime deficit to win 73-68. Turner followed with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a 67-62 upset of Notre Dame.

The 28 points were a career high, and both games propelled him to the honor as Rivals.com's National Player of the Week.

"He made big plays down the stretch for us," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "One thing we talked about was where we could take advantage of Notre Dame, and he had a pretty good read of what we were talking about."

Turner's efforts also boosted the Buckeyes from receiving-votes status into the top 25.

"It's always nice to have that number in front of your school name," Turner said. "I think we're worthy enough to be ranked, but if we're ranked or not doesn't take away from how we're going to develop as a team and our focus of getting better every day."

Turner was 17-of-30 (56.7 percent) from the floor for the week and averaged 23.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals.

Also considered:

Texas guard A.J. Abrams: In the Longhorns' only game, a thrilling 68-64 victory over UCLA, Abrams poured in 31 points - including five 3-pointers.

Marquette guard Jerel McNeal: The senior, one of the nation's premier defenders, can score, too. He had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists in a win over Central Michigan, then went for a season-high 26 in a big victory over rival Wisconsin.

Clemson guard K.C. Rivers: Rivers tallied 14 points and six rebounds in win at Illinois, and he added 32 points and 11 rebounds in an 80-75 win over Liberty to push the Tigers to 9-0.

Michigan forward DeShawn Sims: The 6-8 junior had 12 points and seven rebounds in a 75-70 loss to Maryland, and was even better in an upset of Duke, going for 28 points and 12 rebounds.

Non-Big Six Player of the Week: Stephen Curry, Davidson

In any given week, a player had better be on his game to keep this award out of the hands of Davidson guard Stephen Curry.

Curry, a junior, tied his career high in scoring with 44 points in his team's only game last week, a 72-67 triumph over N.C. State. He was 15-of-33 from the floor, including 11-of-19 inside the arc. He added three assists and three steals in raising his scoring average to 31.3 points per game, tops in the nation.

Also considered:

Miami University guard/forward Michael Bramos: Bramos had 26 points and three steals in a meaningful win at Temple, then ripped off 31 points and four blocks in blowout of Northwestern State (La.).

Creighton guard Booker Woodfox: The senior had 14 points in a blowout of Mississippi Valley State and shot down Saint Joseph's with 29 points. He shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from 3-point range for the week.

Santa Clara center John Bryant: Bryant averaged 17.0 points and 18.0 rebounds in two wins last week.

Freshman of the Week: Seth Curry, Liberty

The leading freshman scorer in the nation is the little brother of the leading scorer in the nation. That must have made for great games in the driveway at Dell Curry's house.

Seth Curry, Stephen's little brother, is a freshman guard at Liberty. He led the Flames to a 2-1 mark last week, averaging 20.3 points in victories over George Mason and Gardner-Webb and a narrow loss to unbeaten Clemson.

Curry hit a jumper and two free throws to help the Flames take down the Patriots in overtime, 69-66.

Also considered:

Kentucky guard DeAndre Liggins: Liggins stuffed the stat sheet for the Wildcats, averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists as the Wildcats beat Lamar and Mississippi Valley State and lost to Miami.

Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at bmcclellan@rivals.com.

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