Dejounte Murray: Evaluation

Washington regained its recruiting form in a big way this past fall, and Seattle shooting guard Dejounte Murray looms large as a future Husky.


Introduction


The A-Plus 16-under program didn’t enter the 2013 Best of Summer event as a marquee squad, but the team did feature a fast-rising junior in Dejounte Murray. A skinny 6-4 wing, Murray proved to be among the best 2015s prospects that week and set himself up for a big 2013-14 high school season.

He brought his talents to the East Coast for the Hoop Hall Classic and impressed with his athleticism and all-around utility. By early 2014 he’d drawn offers from Gonzaga, Washington, California, Washington State and Oregon, with Arizona also expressing interest.

His 2014 travel season included touring the EYBL circuit with Northwest Express. That club at times was outgunned against Nike competition, but Murray, while inconsistent, certainly had his moments.

He committed to Washington prior to the July live period, opting to remain within the city for his college hoops. He then showcased his wares at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, an event that boosted his reputation after the aforementioned up and down play with Express.

Murray entered his senior season ranked No. 37 nationally in the Class of 2015.


Assets


Excellent speed stands out. Murray possesses a naturally explosive stride in the open floor, racing past opponents and applying great pressure while changing ends. In that capacity he holds the potential to become an outstanding finisher, given his speed, 6-4 height and long arms.

Murray’s speed projects as the basis of his future hoops endeavors

He’s more than just a straight-line guy, too, because he can angle his body to slide around big men and uses tricky dribble moves to free himself both in the fullcourt and halfcourt game.

He’s also a capable jump shooter. Murray actually is better right now from the middle areas, but his stroke from deep looks fine as well.

Beyond his offense, his versatility frequently stands out. Murray impresses even when his shot isn’t falling, the hallmark of a consistent competitor. He averaged six and a half rebounds per game on the EYBL, a remarkably high number for a wispy 6-4 guard.

He also holds dynamic potential as a defender. Murray’s length and lateral quickness make him a potential lockdown performer as he gains muscle. He also exhibits the instincts to jump passing lanes, and he averaged more than a steal per contest for Express.


Deficits


A severe lack of weight could hinder Murray next season. His freshman campaign may disappoint some fans due to the fact that he’s likely a couple years away from building sufficient mass for high-major level.

Meanwhile, he must improve his jump shot. As mentioned, his form doesn’t look bad, but he shot a woeful percentage at times on the travel circuit. He knocked down 31 percent on threes with Express and shot just 36 percent from the field overall. Shot selection has been a problem, and he has struggled from the foul line — just 52 percent — as well.

Thing is, Murray’s ability to get to the rim and finish suggest more efficient output. My theory remains that his percentages will rise substantially as he matures physically, but of course only time will tell.


Outlook


Murray is one piece of a recruiting renaissance at Washington. The Huskies have become reenergized overall and, given a little patience, Murray should become a key component of the winning formula.

As a top 40 prospect he’ll arrive to campus carrying hefty expectations, but if anything, he may prove to have been somewhat underrated. You never know if a player will maintain athleticism after gaining the muscle Murray will need to gain, but typically that process works out okay.

If that assumption proves correct, and the assumption that his scoring acumen will scale with his muscle gain also proves correct, Murray could blossom into an all-league performer at Washington and ultimately advance to the sport’s most prestigious league.


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