Yes, it's true, Ohio State leans on Turner more than Kentucky leans on Wall, that Turner is more crucial to the success of Ohio State than Wall is to the success of Kentucky. Take Turner away, and OSU is headed for the NIT. Most of these debates are pure speculation. But not in this case. That quote above from CBS' Gary Parrish, is based on what's really happeneed--not idle e-mail gossip. We got to watch OSU--ranked 15th in the pre-season--get bombed nightly without Turner. The Buckeyes WERE heading for the NIT, if they were lucky.
Then Turner comes back. Of course he couldn't win the first January votes for POY--he wasn't even playing. But once out of the shoot, he flips a 20-point loss at Wisconsin into a home victory over the Badgers. He then goes head-to-head against Robbie Hummel AT Purdue and pulls off the upset, amost single-handedly.
These debates HAVE to be about impact--on a team and its won-lost record. "Most Valuable Player" has always meant most valuable to a player's team. Without Walll, KU's terrific Cousins might have left the Cats with 5 losses by now. Without Turner and NO presence in the paint, OSU would have lost more than 10, based on the real world experiment of a month without Turner.
The stats for Wall and Turner are close, but Turner is at least equal on the numbers and in key stats, he's better. That brings us back to the big issue: impact, Wall does not take over games to any greater extent than Kalin Lucas, Turner, Cole Aldridge & Sherron Collins or Scottie Reynolds. Wall nearly had a triple double this week--it merely produced an OT win against standard opposition. The Cats have a killer team on paper, with Wall, but are not dominating games on the floor the way Kansas can. And of all these teams, only the Buckeyes play just 6 men. That puts much more on Turner's shoulders than on Wall or any one of the stars on teams with benchloads of McDonald's All-Americans.
Bottom Line--by his early-season absence and by his performance thereafter; And by all the criterial above, Evan Turner has demonstrated in reality he is Player of the Year.
As to Wall and the No 1 NBA pick--he should grade out pretty much like a recent No, 2 pick--Michael Beasley-- a nice player who can't put an NBA team on his back. That should be the criterion for No. 1 NBA pick and Wall does not appear to have that very special quality.
So don't believe the hype, believe your eyes. Watch Wall and Turner in March. You be the judge.