Ohio State has Evan Turner back.
That makes the Buckeyes dangerous when they come to play No. 6 Purdue on Tuesday in Mackey Arena.
Turner, one of the nation's top players, returned to the court last week against Indiana. He initially was predicted to miss eight weeks after breaking bones in his back when landing hard on a dunk attempt.
Instead, he was in the starting lineup after just less than five weeks and helped the Buckeyes (11-5, 1-3) beat the Hoosiers. Despite 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 38 minutes, he couldn't lead Ohio State to a victory at Minnesota later in the week.
Still, there is no question his presence boosts the Buckeyes.
Turner, a 6-foot-7 guard, is averaging 17.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
"He is a multi-dimensional type guy at 6-7 that rebounds, passes, scores the basketball. He's a Scottie Pippen-type player, and he can hurt you in a lot of ways," coach Matt Painter said.
Purdue forward Robbie Hummel agreed.
"He is really good," Hummel said. "His size, his ability to handle the basketball, how well he penetrates really creates havoc for defenses."
Painter warns not to only praise Turner, though.
"When Evan is at his best is when he's getting his points but also distributing and getting other guys in the mix," Painter said. "When they have that balance, they are hard to stop. They're about as talented as anybody in our league.
"Evan Turner is a star that can do a lot of different things. But William Buford is very, very talented. If you let him get going, he makes very difficult shots. David Lighty scored 30 in a game this year. (Jon) Diebler has made the most threes in the Big Ten this year. They have a lot of talent. This will be a great challenge for our entire team, not just our guards."
- Hummel built a friendship with Turner this summer when the pair played together for Team USA at the World University Games. Hummel said he and Turner have kept in touch, sending text messages randomly every couple of weeks. Turner didn't ask for any advice about handling a back injury, Hummel said. Hummel said he's glad Turner has returned from the injury, saying "whenever you have a player that can get a triple-double on any given night, it's exciting for the league." Hummel said he likes Turner's personality, calling him funny, outgoing and a good person to be around.
- Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch reviews Ohio State's week and looks ahead here. Here is a recap of the game against Minnesota.