Murphy's Stock Rises; So Does AU's Interest

Basketball prospect Kamari Murphy discusses recruiting and his visit to check out Auburn.

Heading south to further his academic and basketball schooling in Florida, Brooklyn native Kamari Murphy says that he is going to consider several colleges in that region including Auburn.

On Thursday the six-foot-eight, 200-pound basketball player took an unofficial visit to check out Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers. After the trip he made with his father, the former Lincoln High star said that Auburn is likely going to be one of his finalists when it comes time to choose a college.

However, although he graduated high school in the spring, Murphy is going to do postgraduate work on his hoops game at IMG Academy in Florida.

"I am only 17-years-old," said Murphy, who noted that he is working on his strength to get ready for the challenge of what he calls "men's basketball" that is played at the Division I level.

"I have to get stronger," he pointed out. "I would say I am also working on my dribbling ability. Being that I am more athletic, I run well but I want to work on my moves to get past a dude and finish at the rim."

Murphy said he plans to take his time on his college choice. He plans to wait until the spring of 2012 before making a decision on a college.

"I am in the process of narrowing it down," he said. "Auburn, I think, will be on my final list. It was a good visit and hopefully I can come back for an official visit."

He said that he plans to visit the Miami Hurricanes on an unofficial before getting started at IMG Academy and also hopes to check out the Florida Gators. Georgia, Temple, UConn and Louisville are other colleges he mentioned when asked who is at the top of his favorites list.

Murphy toured the campus with Auburn students just starting fall semester classes, watched members of Barbee's team play pickup basketball games and talked with the coaches.

The prospect said he is building a good relationship with Barbee and assistant coach Tony Madlock. Commenting on what he saw on his visit, he said, "It is definitely a family atmosphere. The guys seem like they get along well and the coach is really cool. It seems like a good setup."

As a senior power forward at Lincoln High, he played on one of the top teams in the state of New York. Murphy said he averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and "four or five blocked shots" per game last season. However, he said that he wants to get better before he plays college hoops and said that IMG should be a place where he can do that.

Asked if he is still growing physically, Murphy said, "I hope am so I can be a Kevin Durant type player."

Commenting on his game, the power forward said, "I have never been on a team where I play the three (small forward) position, but during a game I show them three talent.

"I think the best part of my game is running the floor and finishing," he added. "Playing the forward position I think I am faster than the players I am playing against and more athletic than most dudes on the court from one to five."

Murphy said that his ability to run the floor is a physical strength and said his passion for the game is another. "My love for the game...I play harder than other dudes sometimes. I think that is what pushes me over the top."

The forward was considered a good prospect as a high school senior, but Murphy's stock jumped while playing on the AAU circuit for the Long Island Lightning and at basketball camps this spring and summer. Murphy said that Auburn got interested in him after Barbee watched the prospect play at the Showcase event in Orlando.

He said Auburn's late start recruiting him isn't an issue at all. "As long as I can go somewhere and play and get the exposure I want, I think that is the most important thing," he said. "Location doesn't really matter to me."

Murphy added that it is important that he have a good relationship with the head coach as is the opportunity to play early as a freshman. Rated a three-star prospect by, Murphy said he believes whoever signs him will be getting an outstanding basketball power forward. "I think I can play with the best of them," he said.

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