Since arriving at Arizona, Josiah Turner has made some mistakes. And there is a great deal he needs to learn from them. But as he attempts to do so, Turner will need the support of those around him, from coaches to players to fans.
Turner isn’t being asked to do anything special. He is just being asked to live by the same rules and expectations of every other player in the Arizona program. College life is a big adjustment for any kid, and being held to standards much higher than before has been especially difficult for Tuner.
Last year, I watched Turner play all summer long with the Soldiers. That winter, I flew to Sacramento to watch Turner play in front of his hometown crowd. This spring, I watched Turner in Houston at the All American Championships. And this summer I was in attendance as Turner was a mentor at the Nike Skills Academy.
Turner is a good kid. He’s not perfect, but he’s a good kid.
The adjustment to the demands of being a college athlete has been harder for Turner than anyone expected. He will need to grow quickly and become a true teammate, living up to the responsibilities that go along with that title. It is entirely up to Turner whether or not he puts in the necessary effort. But while he is trying to make amends for his mistakes, Turner deserves the support of those around him. This is not the time to give up on Turner. If he fails to turn things around, there will be plenty of time for criticism later.
Many former players overcame struggles early in their career to become leaders. Turner is going through a learning process, perhaps the hardest one he has ever faced. His margin for error is slim, but there is still time for Turner to be a valuable member of this team.
That path starts today as he is expected to meet with coach Miller. With a good meeting, Turner can begin the process of rejoining the team. Progress will be judged on his effort day in and day out. There are no short cuts or excuses left. At a time like this, encouragement can lead to a lot of positives. Giving up on Turner doesn’t help anyone. Let’s show Turner we believe in him and expect him to meet the challenges ahead. He very well may prove us right.