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Mike Turner to Take Leave of Absence from NU Basketball

Northwestern announced today that big man Mike Turner will take a leave of absence from basketball this year. Turner, who had an increased role in Big Ten play last year, due to injuries to Jared Swopshire and Drew Crawford, averaged 1.9 points and 2 rebounds per game in 2012-13.

"Mike will take some time away from the program to focus on aspects of his life other than basketball," Chris Collins said in a statement in the release. "He has our complete support and we will revisit his status within the program once the time is appropriate."

This is the second straight year that NU has had a player miss the whole season with the intention of coming back — JerShon Cobb missed all of last year due to suspension, though that was a much different issue.

This isn't a huge loss for Northwestern. It would have been last year from a depth standpoint, but NU's frontcourt figures to be much-improved this season. Drew Crawford will be back and Alex Olah should be much more mobile. Turner's primary role last year was playing against smaller big men who Olah couldn't keep up with, but Olah has slimmed down and could potentially match up better against those types of players.