In these NBA times of players turning pro soon as they burn through a season of college eligibility, N.C. State guard Ralston Turner is an outlier:
He used all four seasons of college eligibility. He’s five years removed from high school because he transferred from Louisiana State to the Wolfpack, requiring a redshirt season. He’s 23.
He knows he might not get drafted June 25. But he also knows he has a skill every team needs and the Charlotte Hornets need most of all:
He can make 3-pointers in abundance and with accuracy.
“The thing I do best is shoot the ball. They always say, ‘Do what you do.’ Shooting is my strength,” Turner said after completing a six-player workout for the Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Hornets had the worst 3-point percentage in the NBA last season at 31.8 percent. The league average was 35 percent. So it makes abundant sense to audition Turner. In his two seasons at N.C. State, Turner made 171 of his 463 3-point attempts, or 36.7 percent of his shots.
The Hornets must address this problem both internally (get power forward Cody Zeller comfortable taking the corner 3-pointer, perhaps find more minutes for shooting guard Troy Daniels) and externally. It seems likely the Hornets will use one or both of their draft picks on better long-range shooting.
Turner is aware the direction of the NBA works in his favor.
“Over the years the sport has evolved into more of a 3-point shooting game,” Turner said. “One of the things I was blessed with was the ability to shoot the ball. I figured I had it at an early age – that that would be my strength.”
This was Turner’s second NBA workout. He previously visited the Los Angeles Clippers.
Transferring schools can be a tricky business. Transfers often get lost in the balance, without the adjustment time a freshman has. Turner left the SEC for the ACC looking for a higher level of competition. It worked out, with him averaging 10.5 points as a junior and 12.8 as a senior.
“I’ve gone against a number of great guys. played in a lot of uncomfortable spots,” Turner said. “In the ACC you have to work hard to compete, and I learned that well.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell