Josiah Turner turns pro, tells Yahoo! marijuana and alcohol were issues

March 4, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Josiah Turner (11) against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half at Wells Fargo. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Former Arizona Wildcats guard Josiah Turner is not going to play for Larry Brown at SMU it turns out.

Instead, the often-troubled guard told Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Eisenberg that he'll be going pro with a final dream of making it to the NBA. In an interview on Tuesday, Turner told Yahoo! that marijuana and alcohol were "big issues" for him in Tucson.

Turner, remember, was arrested on suspicion of DUI soon after Sean Miller dismissed the freshman point guard.

Hopefully, Turner will turn his life around. His admissions to Eisenberg lined up with the rumor-mill around Tucson; essentially, that rumor-mill said that Turner -- while not a kid out causing problems -- wasn't putting basketball as his first priority.

"My maturity level now is way higher than it was when I was in Arizona," Turner said. "I was young. I made mistakes. I just learned a lot from last year thinking about where I could be at right now and thinking about the things I did last year. It was all stupid."

Turner only averaged 6.8 points and 2.4 assists per game, but from a pure potential standpoint, he has NBA written all over him. His ability and natural feel for pick-and-rolls was lost in both his often-too-lax attitude, not to mention a lack of options to run that pick and roll. His speed was killer -- although risky -- in the passing lanes, and his size lines up with a standard, if not big, NBA point guard.

Though the 20-year-old is just months removed from a failed try at Arizona, he willingness to speak to Eisenberg and his willingness to admit his wrongs makes it possible to believe maybe we've not heard the last of the kid labeled as the next great player at Point Guard U.

Admitting he would rather go pro now than attend college is honest, and that's good and well. Now it's a matter of him proving that it's not just a smokescreen for living a life where basketball is simply an outlet to whatever he might enjoy doing in his free time.

"I just can't wait to show everyone that I'm a new person and that my maturity level is higher," he said. "I lost a lot of fans, a lot of younger people that looked up to me. I want to earn them all back and take advantage of the new start.

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