Kamari Murphy

Kamari Murphy, Randy Onwuasor
Associated Press

Murphy looking to show full skill set at Miami

Leave a comment

In two seasons at Oklahoma State, forward Kamari Murphy played a role that didn’t change all that often. Defending, rebounding and being a supplemental figure on the offensive end were his responsibilities, and there didn’t seem to be much room for him to go outside of those roles. After a sophomore season in which he averaged 6.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, Murphy decided to transfer and ultimately wound up joining a Miami program that also worked hard to reel him in as a high school prospect but fell short.

Now eligible to compete after sitting out last season, the 6-foot-9 Murphy is eager to take the floor. And with that comes the desire to show that he can do a lot more skill-wise than he was able to do in two seasons in Stillwater, as noted in a story written by Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel.

“The two years I was [at Oklahoma State], we had great teams, but I think I was used in the wrong way and the media and press got the wrong perception of me, that I’m just a rebounder or a set screen guy,” Murphy said. “I’m [more] than that. This year, I’m not going to do too much, but I’m going to show people I have the skill work and my IQ is better than just setting screens and running the floor. That’s why I can’t wait to play, to prove people wrong.”

Murphy joins a front court that includes seniors Tonye Jekiri and Ivan Cruz Uceda, and there is room for the New York native to show off a wider array of skills. One of Miami’s personnel losses from last season was forward Omar Sherman, who transferred after averaging 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest as a freshman. While Sherman didn’t post prolific numbers, he was a face-up four who could step out onto the perimeter and hit shots in pick and pop situations.

Can Murphy fill a similar role for the Hurricanes, who have the pieces needed to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out in each of the last two seasons? Given Miami’s numbers in the front court, with just five scholarship options, head coach Jim Larrañaga and his staff will need Murphy to not only fill that role but be more productive in doing so.

Report: Kamari Murphy to transfer to Miami

Leave a comment

Former Oklahoma State power forward Kamari Murphy committed to play his final two years of college ball at Miami, he announced on Wednesday.

Murphy averaged 6.1 points and 6.3 boards as a sophomore with the Cowboys. He started for much of the season after Michael Cobbins went down with an achilles injury in December.

Murphy will have to sit out the 2014-2015 season due to the NCAA’s transfer regulations, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining in 2015-2016. He’s the latest example of head coach Jim Larranaga’s ability to tap into the Big 12 transfer market. Miami will be adding former Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez and former Texas wing Sheldon McClellan this season.

Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy to visit Miami, South Florida in June

Leave a comment

Kamari Murphy became the most recent player to exit the Oklahoma State program when he announced his decision to transfer on May 8. The 6-foot-8 sophomore is planning on visiting a pair of programs in Florida in early June.

Murphy, a Brooklyn native who attended IMG Academy in Florida, is scheduled to visit South Florida on June 1 and Miami a week later, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who spoke with Murphy’s former AAU coach, Dana Dingle.

Miami head coach Jim Larranaga has scored with transfers in the past, most recently, his back court of Angel Rodriguez (Kansas State) and Sheldon McClellan (Texas), both of whom are eligible this upcoming season. South Florida hired Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua on April 1. It didn’t take him long to land his first impact transfer in ex-Marshall point guard Kareem Canty.

Murphy averaged 6.1 points and 6.3 boards per game for the Cowboys, being inserted into the starting lineup when Michael Cobbins went down with an injury in late December. He’ll have two years left to play once he sits out the 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Kamari Murphy’s transfer another blow to a sputtering OK State program

Travis Ford (Getty Images)
1 Comment

Oklahoma State has lost another key piece from last season’s team as Kamari Murphy has decided to transfer out of the program, according to multiple media reports.

As a sophomore this past season, Murphy averaged 6.1 points and 6.3 boards. He became a starter when Michael Cobbins went down with a torn achilles.

Of the eight players that Oklahoma State had in their rotation at the start of the 2013-2014 season, five of them are now gone and four left with eligibility remaining: Murphy and Brian Williams transferred, Marcus Smart went pro, Stevie Clark was kicked out of the program in December and Markel Brown graduated. That list doesn’t include Jared Terrell, either. Terrell was the crown jewel of Ford’s 2014 recruiting class but he got out of his letter of intent last month.

That leaves Travis Ford with a roster that is going to be dreadfully thin once again.

The good news? He does return Le’Bryan Nash for what should be a big senior season, and Cobbins and Phil Forte should be back as well. Add in a five-man recruiting class — headlined by JuCo transfer Jeff Newberry — and the cupboard isn’t completely bare, but it’s still hard to see how Ford is going to be able to get this team into the NCAA tournament.

Which brings us back to a point that was brought up by Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman back when the Pokes were bounced from the NCAA tournament in their first game: Travis Ford’s contract is a doozy. The school signed him to a 10-year deal back in 2009, meaning that Ford still has five years and almost $12 million coming to him.

The most important note?

The school has no buy out.

If they want Ford out, they have to pay him the remainder of his salary, and I’m not sure even T. Boone Pickens is willing to shell out that kind of cash for basketball.

It’s no wonder that the Cowboys can no longer fill up Gallagher-Iba Arena. They have a head coach that the fans hate, that couldn’t get the Pokes out of the opening round of the NCAA tournament despite having two seasons with Smart, Nash and Brown on the roster, and it doesn’t look like it will get any better anytime soon.

Ford’s always been able to recruit, but it will be interesting to see if players still want to join a program that’s clearly not in a good place these days.

2013-2014 Season Preview: No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma St Players Return Basketball
Leave a comment

All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. The rest of our Top 25 Countdown can be found here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

Last Season: 24-9, 13-5 Big 12 (3rd); Lost to Oregon in the Round of 64

Head Coach: Travis Ford (6th season at Oklahoma State: 104-63 overall, 44-40 Big 12)

Key Losses: J.P. Olukemi, Philip Jurick

Newcomers: Stevie Clark, Jeff Carroll, Leyton Hammonds, Gary Gaskin

Projected Lineup

G: Marcus Smart, So.
G: Markel Brown, Sr.
F: Brian Williams, Jr.
F: Le’Bryan Nash, Jr.
F: Michael Cobbins, Jr.
Bench: Gary Gaskins, Jr.; Kamari Murphy, So.; Phil Forte, So.; Stevie Clark, Fr.

They’ll be good because …: Travis Ford has managed to amass as much perimeter talent as any team in the country. Let’s start with the obvious: Marcus Smart. After an all-american freshman season that had him projected as a top five pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Smart made the decision to return to school for his sophomore season, giving the Pokes arguably the best player in the country. He’s a point guard in a shooting guard’s body whose biggest contributions have much more to do with the intangibles and things that don’t show up in the box score than the 15.4 points, 5.8 boards and 4.2 assists he averaged last year.

Smart’s not alone, either. Markel Brown may be the most underrated guard in the country, proving last season that he is more than just a dunker. Brian Williams is finally healthy and should be a lock down defender on the wing, while Le’Bryan Nash is an immensely talented combo-forward that has yet to reach his potential. Throw in high-scoring little guards Phil Forte and Stevie Clark, and Oklahoma State is going to be able to give opponents multiple different looks.

AP photo

But they might disappoint because …: Michael Cobbins was productive as a sophomore, averaging 6.9 points, 6.1 boards and 1.5 blocks last year, and should be in line to see a jump in those numbers. The same can be said for sophomore Kamari Murphy. Both are athletic 6-foot-8 forwards with long arms that can make some plays on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor. Gary Gaskins is a 6-foot-10 pogo stick, but he weighs all of about 20 pounds.

The problem, however, is that neither of those guys are what you would consider a bruiser inside. That role was played by Philip Jurick last season, and he graduated. Can the Pokes survive without that big body in the lane?

Outlook: Travis Ford probably hates Andrew Wiggins. If Kansas hadn’t landed the No. 1 recruit in the country, Oklahoma State would be heading into this season as the favorite to win the Big 12. The Jayhawks have had an unprecedented run of success, dominating the league over the last nine years; the last time that Kansas didn’t win at least a share of the league title was back in 2004.

Oklahoma State has a real chance to bring that streak to an end this season. This is the best team that Ford has ever coached, and it may be the best team that he ever will coach. Smart is an all-american and arguably the most valuable player in the country, and his supporting cast will be better than it was a year ago. It’s a stretch to say that Oklahoma State should win the conference, but given how weak the rest of league is outside of Kansas, anything less than a second place finish in the Big 12 would be a disappointment. There’s enough talent on this roster to make a run at the Final Four come March.