23 - Jamal Murray

6-4, 205 Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Kentucky Freshman
02/23/97 (25.8 yrs)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
High School
Athlete Institute
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon

Strengths: A very polished and clutch performer for his age … Murray is a combo guard, but in a good way, at 6’4″ and 207 lbs he possess the size to play both guard positions … Has shown the ability to play off the ball as a freshmen at Kentucky … Has three point range that must be respected by his defender … Takes open driving lanes when he sees them … Can really attack defenses when going downhill … Comfortable finishing in the lane and has a variety of shots to finish in the paint … Uses his athleticism to be a creative finisher around the rim … Thrives in the clutch. Not afraid of the big moments or the big stage … Plays with a calming presence at all times … Never seems rattled or off his game … NBA-level athlete that will pose a problem for opposing point guards in the league … A natural scorer (currently averaging better than 18 PPG) … Makes putting the ball in the basket look effortless … Moves well without the ball … Very good in catch and shoot situations … Possesses the ability to get hot from deep (shot 8/10 from three against Florida and 7/9 from three against Ohio State) … Shoots a lot, but has a true shooting percentage of 55.2% … Above average rebounder on the defensive glass for a combo guard (almost 6 RPG per 40 minutes)

Weaknesses: Hasn’t played with the ball as much as anticipated, and not playing much PG in college games isn’t developing his skill at the position … The doubts about his ability to play full time PG could cosh him a few draft positions … In limited situations looks timid with the ball when not attempting to score … The tools and effort are there for Murray to be an above average defender, but will often lose focus off the ball … Will gamble for steals and hurt the team defensively … Might be the role Calipari is asking him to play, but looks like he would be a score first point guard at this stage of his development … Not much of a playmaker for others (averaging only 2.3 assists per game) … Can become too dependent on his outside shot in games (3/12 against  Tennessee, 1/10 against NJIT, 2/9 against Eastern Kentucky) … High volume shooter (averages 15 shots a game) … Too turnover prone, especially for an off guard, with 2.6 turnovers per game and a turnover rate of 13.6% … Doesn’t have outstanding length with only a 6’6.5″ wingspan … Can he blow by NBA level athletes consistently and keep defenders from crowding him …

Overall: Murray is a player that has shown glimpses of being a special player during his time at UK … His combination of athleticism and shooting prowess makes him a tough guard for most defenders … Still young and would need to develop into a better point guard to reach his full potential …

Notes: Measured at 6’3, 193 lbs, with a 6’7 wingspan at the 2014 Nike Elite 100 … Measured 6’5 (in shoes) 199 lbs, with a 6’8 wingspan at the 2014 LeBron James Skills Academy … Murray reclassified into the 2015 class, he’s one of the youngest players in college basketball (born February 23rd, 1997) … Has significant international experience in FIBA play with Canadian Men’s National Team (2015 Pan Am Games, 2014 U-17 World Championships, 2013 U-16 Americas Championships … Two-time Nike Hoop Summit participant (averaged 20 points, five assists, 3.5 rebounds and shot 50 percent from three) … MVP of 2015 Nike Hoop Summit and 2013 Jordan Brand Classic International games … Known to meditate before every game …

Brandon Jefferson 2/9/16

Strengths: 6’5 combo guard out of Canada … Has great size for a guard … Knock down shooter. Can score off the dribble, great pull up jumper . Can score from midrange or behind the arc. Can split the defense and get to the rim or finish with a floater. Scores in bunches … Great handles and creative playmaking ability … Plays physical … Plays well at different speeds and can change direction. Controls the pace of the game. Plays with patience, rarely forcing on offense. Handles well under pressure. Doesn’t over dribble, dribbles with purpose. Knows how to put his teammates in position to score. Vocal … Can play as a floor general but also knows how to play without the ball in his hands. Plays well in transition and can create offense in the half court … Has great confidence. Plays great on big platforms (Jordan  Brand Classic International game, Basketball Without Borders, Nike Hoop Summit). Has a good balance of knowing when to score and when to distribute. Has the ability to a “go to guy” down the stretch … Rebounds well for his position … Aggressive, physical, and willing defender.

Weaknesses: Physically, Murray has a size advantage over most guards, but is limited athletically. Doesn’t play above the rim and doesn’t have the best foot speed to be a lockdown defender. While Orangeville Prep possessed one of the most talented rosters in high school basketball, they didn’t always have the best chemistry, losing to inferior teams. Losing convincingly to Sunrise Christian Academy and Quality Education Academy, despite having more talent and size at nearly every position. Moving forward, how Murray develops as a leader and how he brings out the best in his teammates will be critical in his stock and will have a major impact on Kentucky’s success.

Outlook: Kentucky’s newest commit will bring instant offense to a team that lost a great deal of talent and production to the NBA Draft. Murray has the potential to be the top guard selected next year, as the position doesn’t project to be particularly strong for the 2016 draft. Canada has produced a lot of talent over the past few years and Murray looks to continue the trend.

Evan Tomes 7/3/15

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