The Washington Times - September 2, 2009, 08:55AM

Unlike the Emerald Bowl of two years ago —- which popped up on Maryland’s schedule on a month’s notice —- Chris Turner had plenty of time to map out a plan for Saturday’s visit to No. 12 California.

And map out he did.


Turner said his total of family and friends “is in the 70s” and could rise some more, and he’s done a crafty job of managing his roster to scrounge up ways to get them all in.

“I had my roster set up,” Turner said. “I just have to make sure they put the tickets in for me.”

So that means he’ll provide some payback later in the year … right?

“Nope,” Turner said. “No favors. No.”

Now that is truly well-played —- trading nothing for something. Turner must have learned something from the best and brightest on Capitol Hill during his internship this summer.

Then again, he’s also had four seasons of probably yielding more tickets than he’s acquired going in his favor. You have to think he wasn’t using his entire four-ticket allotment very often during his first two years in the program.

“Everybody says ‘Well, let me get some JMU tickets and I say ‘Dude, I’m a senior, I’m not giving you any tickets. I’m going to have people at every game,’” Turner said. “‘Just give me your Cal tickets. You don’t need them.’ You know what I mean.”

By this point, Turner was laughing, and it was clear he isn’t exactly engaging in ticket hold-ups throughout the team house.

He’s also waited patiently for his final season —- the only one Turner has a chance to start from beginning to end, and one he and most teammates remain incredibly upbeat about, even by the standards of the usual preseason optimism.

So of course he wants his family in town to see as much as possible.

“‘Just give me your tickets’ —- I didn’t say it like that,” Turner said. “But you know what I mean.”

—- Patrick Stevens