His stats and performances aren’t prolific, but they’re getting better and they’ve become fairly consistent all of a sudden. Three straight games in double figures, that for the first time all season, and a few moments every game that significantly affect things and make you say, “There it is.”
It is a tricky thing, though.
For myriad reasons, this season was widely presumed to be Murray’s first and only in uniform at WVU. I must have missed that press release or news conference, though. I think I was guilty of passing along ideas and quotes from Bob Huggins, quotes I would describe as supposition because Huggins seemed to preface Murray’s NBA projections with “If he does what he’s supposed to do …”
If his bigs hedged as hard on screens as Huggins hedged on that, WVU would probably be better this season.
Anyhow, all I really knew, all we really knew, was that Murray was tall and talented and while that can sign a few paychecks, he was also coming off a transfer year adversely affected by a broken hand and two seasons at La Salle where Murray was, hmm, mercurial.
I don’t know if that’s the word. I didn’t know him or follow him. I just know what I had read when he transferred. And that followed an unusual junior high and high school career, plagued by chronic truancy and spent at two disciplinary schools.
Fair to say he had some baggage when he arrived and he added a few items with his December 2011 arrest. So things snowballed and, to me, it seemed he was scapegoated a little bit this season as things went south.
You could argue he underachieved and overreacted from time to time and, for certain, he did something distracting to be left on campus when the team was in Brooklyn and then to be discarded, at least temporarily, when Huggins tinkered with a smaller lineup.
Still, here he is, with his team at least playing better, and he leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. And, because all of that, let’s add frustration to the list, too.
In short, he’s met expectations. That’s not a one-liner, really. I think that’s the truth.
When kept together, Murray, 23, is really very talented and probably on some level even NBA worthy, but even he admits that time might not be so soon because it can be so hard to stay together.
Which makes me wonder and ask: Why was this supposed to be fast and easy for Murray?