COLLEGE STATION, Texas – After turning heads across the nation with a career-best 40-point performance in a road win at Kentucky on Saturday, Texas A&M men’s basketball senior Elston Turner has been named ESPN.com National Player of the Week.
"I was shooting at shoot-around today and I could feel it,” Turner said at a post-game press conference. “I kind of like the rims and I got a good feel for the basketballs. I thank God for this. This is something I've wanted for my whole life. It was a great team win and I was just going with the flow. I didn't really pay attention to who was guarding me and what they were trying to do. I was really just trying to get our team going. We had confidence that we could beat this team. My teammates did a great job looking for me and obviously I was able to hit shots."
Turner became just the third opponent to score 40 points against Kentucky at Rupp Arena, joining Chris Jackson of LSU, who scored 41 points against UK on Feb. 15, 1990, and David Robinson of Navy, who holds the record with 45 points at Rupp Arena on Jan. 25, 1985.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari also had high praise for the Aggies’ Turner.
“Well, in the NBA coaching, obviously there are a couple guys that would do that to you, but in college, that was like phenomenal.”
Turner’s performance also marked the first time an Aggie has reached the 40-point plateau since Don Marbury accomplished the feat against Baylor on Jan. 5, 1985.
The Sacramento, Calif., native was on fire right out of the gate against the Wildcats, scoring 25 points in the opening period before finishing the game 14-of-19 from the field with a 6-of-10 mark from 3-point range.
"40 points is an incredible performance, one of the best I've ever been a part of,” Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “I thought our guys got him the ball and he got good looks. Kentucky is young and you can see it, fortunately we were able to take advantage of that."
Earlier in the week, Turner helped Texas A&M earn a historic first victory in the SEC as he tallied 15 points on Wednesday in a 69-51 win over Arkansas in College Station.
The Aggies (12-3, 2-0 SEC) return to the court Thursday night when they host No. 11/9 Florida at Reed Arena. The contest is slated for a 6 p.m. tip-off and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.