For the Oklahoma State Cowboys this summer, all the hype surrounded incoming freshmen Marcus Smart and Phil Forte. On top of that, Cowboy fans wanted to make sure that top recruit Le’Bryan Nash, now in his second year, could get back on track and improve from his freshman year.
The hype for these three players is so great that many fans have forgot about how prolific of a scorer Jean-Paul Olukemi is or how good of a rebounder Michael Cobbins can be. But don’t get me wrong, the hype is rightfully deserved. Smart could be a future lottery pick and Forte has already demonstrated that he will out-sink anyone in a three-point contest.
The guaranteed starters this season will be Nash, Smart, Olukemi and Markel Brown. The remaining spot was up for grabs until Wednesday when head coach Travis Ford named freshman forward Kamari Murphy as a starter. Murphy came out of Brooklyn, New York ranked as the No. 6 high school player in the state and his physical style of play is certainly a good indicator of where he is from.
On offense, Murphy is good at using his size to create base-line jumpers. On defense, just simply go to YouTube and type his name into the search engine. You will find highlight after highlight of big time blocks, rejections, and crowd awe-ing moments.
Murphy is definitely the type of player you want in the starting lineup to energize the team. Ford commented on Murphy by saying he is always going 100% and doesn’t stop until you tell him. At the same time, Ford has said that Murphy has a great understanding of the game and is a player that does not have to be told twice to do something.
Perhaps tonight when the Cowboys take on Ottawa University, Murphy will have a “Serge Ibaka-esque” block that will get the offense out in transition the same way the Oklahoma City Thunder looks to score on the San Antonio Spurs tonight.