Photo Credit: The Stepien
Tucked away in the corner of southwest Kentucky lies Murray, Kentucky, population 17,000. Murray is home of Murray State University. The university enrolls around 9,000 undergrads, over half the size of the town itself. Murray State is home to one of the best mid-major basketball programs in the nation. Since 1990 they have won 16 Ohio Valley Conference Championships and have appeared in 13 NCAA Tournaments. What has driven this sustained success? Murray State’s point guard play. Murray State has had 2 point guards drafted recently in Isaiah Canaan in 2013 and Cameron Payne in 2015. Canaan is one of 3 second round draft picks in his class to remain in the league and Payne was drafted 14th overall, the second highest Ohio Valley Conference draft pick in the modern era. Both have carved out successful backup point guard roles in the NBA. Both players tore up the OVC with Payne averaging 20 PPG, 6 APG, and 3.7 RPG in his final year at Murray State and Canaan averaging 21.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 3.5 RPG in his senior season.
The next great point guard to come out of Murray State will be Ja Morant. Morant was lightly recruited out of high school and is putting up ridiculous numbers currently. 22.3 ppg, 9.5 APG, and 6.8 RPG! He has the NCAA’s only triple-double this season and is a projected top 10 NBA draft pick this year.
Check out his dunk vs Alabama
Then I’ll let his highlights against Southern Illinois speak for themselves.
Ja Morant is keeping the tradition of great guards out of Murray State alive and well. Be sure to check out the Racers in March.