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Monday, October 21, 7:00PM (EST) at Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH

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by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Updated: October 21, 2013

With the Sixers set to open regular season play against the Miami Heat on October 30, the team has a busy nine days ahead. Philadelphia plays its final two preseason contests this week and must trim its roster from 20 players to 15 by 5:00pm (EST) on Monday, October 28. After practice Sunday afternoon, head coach Brett Brown spoke about the importance of the two games.

“I think that we’re going to still experiment a little bit, but I think the underlying theme for me is trying to get a little bit tighter for opening night – whether it’s rotation, or structure, or whatever,” he told reporters. “Somewhere, there will be a balance of seeing Rodney (Williams) play for the first time, seeing what’s going on with Khalif (Wyatt) and Vander (Blue) and how we approach that…”

Coach Brown rested veterans Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes in Thursday’s 110-84 road loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, but said that he doesn’t expect to give those three much rest Monday against Cleveland or Wednesday against Minnesota.

Turner Returns To Ohio State

Monday’s meeting with the Cavaliers will be played at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University. The game will be the fourth and final neutral-site contest the Sixers play this preseason; it will also be swingman Evan Turner’s first game back at “The Schott” since playing all but one minute of a 73-57 home win over Illinois as a junior at OSU in March of 2010.

“It’s cool. It’s definitely exciting,” he said after practice Sunday. “I always had great memories there – positive people, positive fans.”

In 2009-10, Turner averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists to lead the Buckeyes to a Big Ten championship and secure National Player of the Year honors from seven of the nine media outlets and organizations that vote upon it. In that year’s NCAA Tournament, Ohio State made it as far as the Elite Eight before falling to Tennessee 76-73. Several weeks later, Turner declared for the 2010 NBA Draft and two months after that, he the Sixers selected him with the second-overall pick. Sunday, he compared his coach at Ohio State, Thad Matta, to his new coach in Philadelphia.

“You just felt like big things were coming,” Turner said of his impressions of Matta as a high school recruit. “Coach Matta was so positive and so excited about the future. He really had a path and a plan and you see that same thing with Brett Brown. It’s got you really excited.”

Home Cooking

Turner, who owns a home in the Columbus area, hosted a full-team dinner Sunday evening. His mother, Iris, prepared the meal.

"Just great hospitality by the Turner family," Coach Brown said after shoot-around Monday morning. "Evan's mom is a warm lady and an excellent cook."

Rodney Williams To Make Preseason Debut

At shoot-around, Coach Brown indicated that rookie swingman Rodney Williams, who missed the Sixers' first five preseason games due to injury, will play tonight against the Cavaliers. He added that he hopes to utilize Tony Wroten in more point guard situations as well.

Inside Shoot-around