Nebraska Basketball Lifter of the Year (2004)
NU Freshman Record for Blocks (39) and Rebounds (162)
Two-time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 selection (2003, 2004)
Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll (2001, 2003)
Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Honor Roll (2002, 2004)
After a solid junior campaign when he became an established interior player on the conference level, John Turek (pronounced TUR-eck) returns for his senior season in 2004-05 looking to contribute even more to the Huskers' success.
Turek brings a solid resume into his final season. He has a chance to become only the third player in Nebraska history with 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in a career, joining Rich King, an NBA first-round selection, and 1999 Big 12 Player of the Year Venson Hamilton.
Turek will have to pick up his pace on the offensive end to reach 1,000 career points, as he has 678 entering this season. Last year, he recorded a career-best 304 points (9.8 ppg) and is NU's top returning scorer. Turek already owns 541 career boards after grabbing at least 160 each of the past three seasons. He surpassed the 100-block mark for his career last year and now owns 128 in his career. Turek is only the fourth player in NU history with 600 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocked shots.
Turek's 128 blocked shots rank sixth on the NU career chart, and is on pace to become the first Husker to lead the team in blocked shots four straight seasons (Dave Hoppen also led four straight years but tied for the team lead as a senior). Turek has led NU in rebounding in two of the past three seasons and Turek also owns the most career double-figure rebounding (16) and double-double (5) efforts among all returning Huskers. He will likely break into the career top 10 for rebounds in 2004-05.
Turek's consistency has helped him play in 86 out of 88 career games over the past three seasons. He is the only returning player to play in every game the past two years (61). Turek has made 66 career starts and could jump into the NU career top 10 this season.
One of the most athletic post players in the Big 12 Conference, Turek's determination in the weight room helped him set the team mark for power clean (317 pounds) and power clean points (435 points) in May 2004. Entering 2004-05, he is approaching 300 pounds in the bench press and 500 pounds in the squat to rank as one of the strongest players ever to wear a Husker basketball uniform. Turek was named the Lifter of the Year for the Nebraska basketball team in 2004.
Off the court, Turek is prepared to join another elite class. He has been selected to the academic all-conference first team each of the past two seasons and can become only the fifth player in Nebraska history to earn the honor three straight years with a selection in 2005.
2004 Australian Summer Tour
Turek is coming off the most productive summer trip of any Husker after averaging a double-double with 15.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, both team highs. He hit 40.0 percent (32-of-80) from the field against the professional competition and 72.7 percent (24-of-33) from the charity stripe. Turek added a team-best 13 blocked shots and ranked third with seven steals. Turek recorded 21 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots in 26 minutes against the Australian Institute of Sport. Nine of the boards were offensive, and Turek led Nebraska on the trip with 25 offensive rebounds.
Turek continued his ironman imitation by playing in all 31 contests, including 21 starts, and drove his current streak to 66 straight games played. He was one of seven players to see action in every game but one of only three Huskers with at least 20 starts during the season.
On the year, Turek ranked third on the squad in scoring with 9.8 points per game. Turek led the Huskers for the second time in his career with 5.9 rebounds per contest and added 29 assists, 16 steals and a team-high 37 blocked shots, which ranked 10th in the conference standings.
For the third straight season, Turek greatly improved his shooting percentage by hitting 46.0 percent from the floor. As the Huskers' go-to guy in the paint, he ranked third on the team in field goals made (108) and attempted (235).
Turek's greatest improvement came at the free throw line where he had a remarkable turnaround. After entering the year a career 41.9 percent shooter at the charity stripe, Turek hit 69.8 percent (88-of-126) while making 26 more free throws than in his first two seasons combined. He finished fourth on team among players with at least 50 free throw attempts.
In the first game of the season, Turek showed proof of his new-found shooting touch as he hit 8-of-9 attempts from the line and 8-of-13 shots from the floor to score a career-high 24 points against Fairleigh Dickinson. He added a season-high 13 rebounds, one of four double-figure rebounding games and one of two double-doubles. It was one of 11 times he led the team in rebounding.
Turek nearly picked up his second straight double-double with 16 points and eight boards against Eastern Michigan before grabbing 13 rebounds, including seven offensive, against Arizona State and All-America center Ike Diogu.
Turek recorded a blocked shot in the first six games of the year, including a season-high four blocks against Delaware State and Creighton in consecutive games. His first contest without a block came against Tennessee when he posted 21 points, five boards and a season-high three steals. He hit 7-of-7 attempts from the foul line and 7-of-13 shots from the floor.
In Big 12 play, Turek added 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He hit 44.4 percent from the field and 72.6 (53-of-73) percent from the line.
Turek scored double-figure points in nine conference games, including a season league-high 19 points at Colorado in the regular-season finale. He hit just 5-of-13 shots from the field but drained 9-of-12 from the line while adding 11 rebounds against all-conference center David Harrison. It was the second time during the season Turek made nine free throws in a contest.
Turek was part of a conference record six Huskers who were selected to the academic All-Big 12 first team. It was the second straight season Turek was honored, as he became the ninth Husker to be honored more than once.
One of just four players to see action in every game, Turek was the only Husker to start all 30 games. He played 829 minutes, an average of 27.6 per game. It was the third-highest average on the team and highest among post players for the second straight year.
He continued to provide solid post play for the Huskers by averaging 7.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game. He was 14th in the conference in rebounding average and sixth in blocked shots. He moved to 11th and fifth, respectively, in league games.
Turek's offensive improvement was most noticeable in his field-goal percentage, as he hit 43.4 percent from the floor (up from 39.1 percent) to rank second on the squad among active players at the end of the year. He shot better in the conference season as well, where he averaged more points in league play (8.1 ppg) than non-conference action (7.4) for the second year in a row. Turek recorded five of eight double-figure scoring efforts during Big 12 action.
After struggling the first three games of the year, Turek turned it up a notch in the home opener, when he chipped in 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with six rebounds in a victory over Texas-San Antonio.
In the next contest against South Florida, Turek dominated the boards, pulling down a career-high 16 rebounds, a mark he later tied against Denver. He finished with eight double-figure rebounding games for the year.
Turek picked up his first career double-double when he logged a season-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field to go along with 11 rebounds against IPFW. He would add two more double-doubles (11 points, 10 rebounds vs. Lipscomb; 10 points, 14 rebounds vs. Kansas State) to rank second on the team, trailing Andrew Drevo's six.
While patrolling the paint, Turek picked up 52 blocked shots on the season. His total ranked third all-time among NU sophomores and was just outside the school single-season top 10 list. Turek's two-year total (91) ranked sixth on the Nebraska career chart.
Despite only scoring seven points and pulling down three boards, Turek played a dramatic role in the upset of nationally ranked Minnesota at home, as he recorded a career-high five blocked shots against the Gophers. It was one of seven contests that he had at least three blocked shots, as he had multiple blocks in half (15) of NU's contests. He failed to record a block in only five games.
In the classroom, Turek continued to excel as he was named first-team academic All-Big 12. He was the 33rd Husker basketball player to earn first-team all-league honors.
Turek played a large role in the paint for the Huskers, seeing action in 26 contests with 15 starts. The only two games he missed were against Missouri and at Iowa State during the Big 12 slate, when he was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
Turek averaged 5.4 points while recording team highs in rebounding average (6.2 rpg, 162 total) and blocked shots (39 total, 1.4 bpg). He was sixth on the team in minutes played with 592 (22.8 mpg), which was the most among NU post players.
At the Big 12 Tournament against Colorado, Turek’s effort left him with 11 rebounds, seven points and three blocked shots. The 11 rebounds gave him 162 for the season, which broke the previous NU freshman record of 161 shared by Venson Hamilton (1996) and Dave Hoppen (1983), both all-conference performers during their NU careers. His three blocked shots also moved him into a tie on the rookie blocked shot list with Hamilton, who also had 39 blocks in 1996. Turek’s team-leading 162 rebounds marked the first time in NU history that a freshman led the squad in rebounding.
Turek finished the regular season on a strong note. In his final four games (after returning from the ankle injury), he hit 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) attempts from the floor for 9.0 points per game, and averaged 9.8 rebounds. His effort led the Huskers to a 2-2 record during that span, with one of the losses coming in a one-point setback to No. 1 Kansas. In his first 21 games, Turek had hit just 42-of-117 (35.9 percent) from the field for 4.5 points per game, while adding 5.5 rebounds.
The Council Bluffs, Iowa, native had a breakout offensive game in the regular-season finale, as he scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Huskers in a loss at Kansas State. After missing his first shot from the floor, Turek connected on seven straight field-goal attempts before finishing 8-of-12 from the field. He added eight rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal. His only other double-figure scoring game came at Colorado, when he had 10 points with three boards, two assists, three blocks and one steal.
Turek had a team season-high 12 rebounds against Kansas before coming back with nine boards, seven points and a career-high five blocked shots in a 75-55 victory over Baylor. He recorded his first double-figure rebounding effort of the year with 10 rebounds against Pacific in his first career start. He also had 10 boards in an 80-69 upset of No. 20/23 Texas Tech at home.
Off the court, Turek was selected to the Dean’s List at the College of Business Administration in Fall 2001, and was selected to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in Fall 2001 and Spring 2002.
Turek lettered three times at Abraham Lincoln High School for Coach Bruce Chubick Sr., who is the father of former Husker standout Bruce Chubick Jr.
As a senior, Turek averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals per game while helping the team to a 24-1 record. Following his senior season, Turek was selected to the all-state and All-Western Iowa first teams, along with earning all-conference honors. He was also named the city player of the year in 2000-01. Against Sioux City West, Turek turned in his top prep performance, collecting 26 points, 22 rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals.
Turek also lettered twice in golf, placing second in the city tournament as a high school sophomore. He was an honor roll student all four years, finishing with a 3.8 grade-point average.
John is the son of John and Luellen Turek. He has three sisters, Ulette, Rachelle and Elisha, and one brother, Josh. Elisha begins her second year at Oral Roberts where she was named the 2004 Mid-Continent Conference Newcomer of the Year on the basketball court and earned first-team All-MCC honors. Josh played professional wheelchair basketball in Italy the past two years and was a member of the squad that represented the United States at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
John was born Feb. 19, 1983. He is majoring in business marketing at Nebraska and is on pace to graduate in December 2004, completing his bachelor's degree in three and one-half years. Turek chose Nebraska after being recruited by Central Michigan, Central Florida, Iowa, Old Dominion, Drake and Creighton.
Points 24 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (11/22/03)
Field goals 8 three times (last vs. Fairleigh Dickinson 11/22/03)
Three-point field goals None
Rebounds 16 vs. Denver (1/4/03)
Assists 4 vs. Bethune-Cookman (12/20/03)
Steals 4 vs. Kansas State (2/25/03)
Blocks 5 two times (last vs. Minnesota 12/8/02)
Minutes played 38 vs. Colorado (1/18/03)