Scoring 16 points in a blowout loss at La Lumiere (Ind.) School recently, 2016 Ontario Athlete Institute combo guard Jamal Murray showed onlookers what he can do and what his game is all about.
Struggling to find a rhythm in the first half of play, Murray was held scoreless as he and his teammates stared at a mammoth deficit.
“They punched us in the first half and we just allowed them to,” Murray said. “So we came out in the second half after coach gave us the talk and we took it to heart.”
All of Murray’s 16 points came in the second half of play as Athlete Institute continued to fight, ultimately losing 68-42 on the road.
For Murray, the game not only proved as a spot for him to showcase his ability, but also the opportunity to lead a team that was counting on him vocally as much as in the scoring column.
“That’s a natural role,” Murray said. “I always do that. If I was on the court I would be doing the exact same thing so, just showing a lot of energy and stuff.”
“I think the first thing is Jamal is a great kid,” Murray’s coach Larry Blunt said. “He’s an incredible player but he’s a better person, incredible teammate.
“But as far as (his) game, one he’s a winner, Jamal doesn’t care if he scores one point or 100, he wants to win. I think he’s incredibly unselfish and I think he’s developing into as good a leader as he is a player.”
Standing close to 6-foot-5 and 190-pounds, Murray has great size at the point guard spot for his high school team, still having the ability to play the two when necessary.
“Early in the year we had him off the ball and he was really scoring at the clip you got a chance to see on Friday night,” Blunt said. “We moved him back to the point guard which is his natural position and the position he would be.
“From his perspective, he really wants to get his teammates involved and do what it takes to win. I think he’s continuing to grow and develop as a point guard and as he gets more comfortable I think you can see against a really good team like La Lumiere, when he turns it on he’s special.”
Scheduled to visit Michigan this past Sunday for their win over Michigan State, car trouble forced the Murray’s and his team to take a detour but the plan is to be in Ann Arbor sooner than later, with stops to other schools on the docket as well.
“We definitely want to get back to Michigan,” Blunt said. “We appreciate them extending the opportunity and we’re going to get down before the season ends.
“We may go back to Syracuse, the problem is right now for us in our first season we’ve traveled a ton. We’ve been to Georgetown, we’ve been down to NC State to see a game while we were on the road.”
Though early, the Wolverines, led by assistant coach Jeff Meyer, are already laying the groundwork for a positive recruiting experience with Murray.
“Coach Meyer, we’ve spoken with him a ton,” Blunt said. “For one Michigan is a great school and relatively speaking it’s close from a proximity standpoint so his parents could see him play.
“Michigan has been great, they’ve been consistent, they’ve been keeping tabs on him and they’ve done a really nice job early in the recruiting game of building a solid foundation with him.”