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Luke Turner Returns Home To Play For UC Riverside



The transfer portal is a second chance for not only players but coaches. If you missed on a commitment the first time around, you have a chance to sell your product to the athlete again.

After a strong season at Wofford, just that happened to Luke Turner. Earlier this week, it was announced that he would return home to California and play for Mike Magpayo at UC Riverside. He and his staff have been big on Turner since high school.

“That played a lot in me going there,” Turner told The Portal Report, “They’ve always shown me the most love. I feel like they’ve really really wanted me the most out of any coach from the jump.”

Turner was a three-star recruit out of Santa Margarita Catholic High School and with good reason. He led his high school to a state title while scoring 19.4 points per game on 59.4% shooting from the field and 40% from three. Before that, he shined at nationally-ranked Rancho Christian high school.

Instead of staying back home in California, he decided to go to Wofford. There, he had limited playing time but put up good efforts when he did including 20 points against Western Carolina. It wasn’t the same though as he soon realized how much he loved in back in California.

“Being in South Carolina definitely changed my perspective on being close to home,” Tanner said, “It’s gonna be awesome to go back to California and be with my family and play for a California school and make them better.”

UC Riverside has been knocking on that door for a couple of years as Mike Magpayo has taken this program to levels, they’ve never been before.

Not only was his first career head coaching win against a PAC 12 school in Washington last season, but he became the first head coach of Asian American descent to win a D1 basketball game. From there, they picked up the school’s highest seed in Big West history at three.

This season, they went into Tempe and upset Arizona State on a three-quarters shot at the buzzer. He also reached the most Big West wins in school history at nine. It’s a growing program.

“You know UC Riverside has a really good program; I’ve watched some film on them. I love the way they play, they play hard, they play scrappy, that’s how I like to play,” said Tanner.

Tanner will look to continue to grow the Highlander program, joining Kyle Owens from Montana in the transfer portal to Riverside.

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