Ralston Turner exploring options

Guard Ralston Turner has been granted a release from LSU basketball team.

But that doesn't necessarily mean he's leaving the Tigers -- at least not yet.

LSU's second leading returning scorer has been given a release to explore a transfer to any school outside of the SEC, but he may not choose to do so, new LSU coach Johnny Jones said in a news release.

"Upon my arrival about three weeks ago in my initial meeting with Ralston, he indicated that he had previously discussed with (previous LSU coach) Trent Johnson that he might consider transferring from LSU," Jones said. "I told him that we would get together to discuss that at the end of the semester and that if he wished he would be granted permission to explore other opportunities.

"I have encouraged him to explore other options with the opportunity to return provided he is 100 percent an LSU Tiger."

Turner averaged 9.1 points per game last season -- a bit of a sophomore slump after averaging 12.3 points as a freshman when he made the SEC All-Freshman team.

The spring semester at LSU ends at the end of the week.

"I have been given my release and I will be taking a visit (to another school)," Turner said in the news release. "That's all. I didn't say I was 100 percent leaving (LSU). It's something I have thought about for a while and Coach Jones is allowing me to do it. I am going to take a visit and when it's over I will weigh my options."

The LSU release did not specify what school Turner will visit, but local reports in North Carolina have said he is considering North Carolina State. Turner is a native of Muscle Shoals, AL and NC State coach Mark Gottfried recruited Turner while he was head coach at Alabama.