Josiah Turner to transfer from Arizona

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Arizona announced that point guard Josiah Turner will be transferring out of the program on Wednesday afternoon.

“I learned a lot in my year at Arizona and would like to thank my coaches, teammates and the fans for all of their support,” said Turner in a statement.

“Josiah made a great deal of progress as a student-athlete in his year with us,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. “He will finish this semester and leave in good academic standing. All of us at Arizona wish him well in his future.”

Now do you see why getting TJ McConnell to transfer into the program as so important?

This announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Turner never lived up to his hype with the Wildcats, as he was suspended on multiple occasions and seemed to cause problems within the Arizona locker room. Rumors of his eventual departure flew once he was suspended for the remainder of the season in early March.

Turner is the second member of Arizona’s highly-regarded 2011 recruiting class to leave the program. Sidiki Johnson transferred back in December. This does, however, get Arizona down to their mandated 12 scholarship limit, as McConnell and Matt Korchek join a four-man recruiting class and four returning players.

Turner has all the talent in the world to end up being a star at this level, but in order for him to fulfill that potential he is going to have to clean up the off-the-court problems. Regardless of where he ends up transferring, he is going to have a year to sit out. That will be a big year for Turner; will he use that time to get his act together or will the downtime eventually be his downfall?

Without Turner, the role of Jordin Mayes, Nick Johnson and Gabe York will be even more important next season. The Wildcats will have plenty of talent on their roster next year with the crop of big men they have coming in and the players they have returning. But without a point guard to hold the team together, the end result could end up being similar to this season — missing the NCAA tournament.

Can Mayes, Johnson and York — and a healthy Kevin Parrom, for that matter — take over the reins of this team?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.