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.