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October 9, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Elston Turner builds rapport with Abdul Gaddy

Washington sharp-shooter Elston Turner tells us he’s trying to become an multi-skilled player and more than just a three-point specialist.
Turner gushes about freshman point guard Abdul Gaddy and says the Huskies goal is to make the Final Four.
Many UW fans think Turner is the lynchpin to another Pac-10 title because his outside shooting balances the offense and stretches opposing defenses. Turner appears comfortable with his role as an instant-offense reserve and seemingly he’ll slide into the starting lineup next season when Quincy Pondexter leaves.
Here’s the interview.
(How was your summer) “The summer was pretty good. No school so it was really good.”
(Any camps or anything like that?) “I stayed here for about two months and then went back home for about a month and half.”
(Does your dad [Houston rockets assistant Elston Turner] help you much when you go home?) “He does that every single day. He tells me things. He looks at film from last year that my mom records because she’s at every single game. And my dad will just look at it and tell me the stuff that I’m doing good and tells me what to work on. And every day around 9 or 10, we’d go to the gym and work on it for about and hour to hour and half.
(What did he tell you this summer?) “Just to look to be more than just a shooter and try to be an all-around player. Just work on rebounding and doing the little things to stay on the floor.”
(However your claim to fame is being an outstanding shooter, so are you trying to change that?) “Yeah. Nobody wants just wants to have just one label. You want to be an all-around player. With the team that we have, certain people do different things better than other people. We have (Justin) Holiday who’s a defender like Venoy (Overton). Quincy (Pondexter) and Isaiah (Thomas) are kind of like our two leaders in scoring so you just need somebody like me to step in and stretch the defense when we need to.”
(Does playing defense and doing the other things come harder for you?) “No. Not really. You pretty much have to do it to stay on the floor. And everything comes in handy. If I go in there and they want to me to stretch the defense and make 3s, I’m not going to stay on the floor if I’m shooting 3s, but I’m giving up layups. You still have to play defense. You just have to step in and be an all-around player.”


(How is Abdul Gaddy going to change your game?) “He’s going to find the open players and make the right plays while not letting the freshman nervousness get to him. He plays like he’s an upperclassman.”
(How much did you play with him this summer?) “We played all summer when I was here. We played just about every day.”
(Are you developing a rapport him with?) “He reads defenses really well. And he’ll tell me sometimes to be ready. And half the time, he’s right. He just finds people.”
(What did you learn from last year?) “To keep working hard. We’re not going to be satisfied with just getting to the (NCAA) Tournament, winning one game and then out the next. We’re trying to go deep.”
(How good can this team be?) “If we keep working hard, we can be a Final Four team.”
(Why?) “Just because we have so much talent. We have interchangeable spots. We have everything to be one of the top programs in the country. As of right now, we just got to take it one more step to get to that national championship.”
(Do you like the 3-guard offense or do you prefer playing small forward?) “It depends on how the game is going. The other team might have three guards out there too. And I’ll put the three guards that we have against any team in the country any day. It just depends on how the flow of the game is going.”
(Are you a 2 or a 3?) “It depends. Sometimes we’ll have Isaiah and Venoy in there at the same time and if I’m in there, then I’m a three. Other times we might go big and Isaiah at the 1, me at the 2 and Quincy at the 3. So it just depends on what the lineup is. But I start out as a 2.”
(Which do you prefer?) “It doesn’t matter because in our offense, the way we run it it’s interchangeable. So it doesn’t really matter what you call yourself.”
(Who has surprised you the most so far?) “I’d probably say Abdul. Just because I really haven’t seen him play up until he got here. I heard a lot about him. I heard how he can pass for a point guard. And when I got here, he lived up to the hype. I’m excited to play with him this year.”
(Being a shooter, you probably like pass-first point guards.) “Yeah. A lot.”
(Did you have a pass-first point guard last year?) “Yeah, we had it last year. But we were also were more of an offense oriented to getting to the basket last year. I think this year, we’re going to be the same just with a pass-first point guard.”
(I heard you’re no longer the best shooter on the team. Is that true?) “It’s debatable. C.J. (Wilcox) can really shoot. I would say he’s up there. It’s between me and him. There’s no doubt about that. He’s a great shooter. We shoot everyday pretty much together just trying to make each other better. I’m going to try and take him underneath my wing and give him some pointers.”
(If you and C.J. both shot 100 three-pointers, how many do you make and how many does he make?) “I’d say I’d make at least 75 to 80 and he’ll probably be around there too.”
(What would you like to do this season for yourself and for the team?) “For myself just work hard and do what I have to do to make the team better. If that’s just coming in and making plays, making shots then that’s what I’ll do. Whatever I have to do to get on the court, then that’s what I’ll do. And then as a team, we just have to work hard and try to win the Pac-10 championship. Everybody wants to repeat. And then try to go farther into the tournament than last year so we can say we had a more successful year.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox

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