Report: Could Oregon Ducks basketball land 5-star shooting guard Jamal … – OregonLive.com
Consensus five-star shooting guard Jamal Murray, out of Orangeville Prep (Ontario, Canada), will be announcing his college decision Tuesday, and the Oregon Ducks appear to be the frontrunner, according to CanadianBallers.com reporter Sonny Bairos:
An update to those tweets indicated that Murray will be announcing on a Canadian TV station rather than ESPNU.
After months of speculation about the 6-foot-5 combo guard’s future, it appears college basketball fans will finally have answers.
And that could be a very positive step forward for Dana Altman and Oregon basketball.
Early in the process, Murray made it clear he was toying with the idea of reclassifying from the 2016 class to 2015, meaning he would be eligible to play in the upcoming season. But it wasn’t until recently that multiple reports surfaced that he had officially intended to do so.
That decision was hardly a surprise, as it seemed like a foregone conclusion after the Nike Hoop Summit in early April. In the exhibition contest Murray scored a game-high 30 points to lead the World Select team to a 103-101 victory over Team USA.
“Last year he played in this game and I think that experience goes a long way. He just seemed to be in control from the beginning,” Team USA coach Eric Flannery said. “We were blitzing the ball screen as often as we could after the first quarter, meaning we were double teaming and trying to get the ball out of his hands…but he was very strong with the ball, kept attacking the rim. He was without question the difference, probably for four quarters, tonight during the game.”
Within days, Murray went from an under-the-radar four-star guard to a consensus five-star prospect with interest from Duke, Kentucky and many others.
“For the past few years, because he’s in Canada – with the way all the players are ranked – it’s unfortunate that he has to work that hard to show that he’s one of the best out there,” Roger Murray, Jamal’s father, said.
That enhanced basketball profile was a welcomed development for Murray, but complicated the process for Oregon.
Prior to the Nike Hoop Summit, Murray had indicated clear interest in the Ducks and was rumored to be leaning toward a future in Eugene, thanks to a relationship with former teammate and current Oregon forward Dillon Brooks.
“We played AAU together and he’s my boy. Haven’t talked to him yet about some of the stuff,” he explained. “And Coach Mike (Mennega). Great guy, but my dad has been talking to him and handling all that.”
In the past two-plus months, Murray has taken visits to Oregon and Kentucky, but has largely remained tight-lipped about his future.
Still, there’s plenty of evidence that the Ducks are flying out in front.
Last week, Oregon forward Elgin Cook tweeted “Welcoming our newest commit Jamal Murray into the Duck family.” The message came with no surrounding context, so it’s unclear whether the Oregon big man is close to the situation or simply guessing, but future teammates are often first to know about commitment plans.
Given Murray’s silence on his recruitment, Barios’ report of the combo guard’s Oregon leanings and a “welcome to Oregon” tweet from a current player are as good a sign as any that the Ducks may come out on top.
If, in fact, Murray chooses Oregon, he would be the final piece to what has developed into the best basketball recruiting class in school history.
Already in the fold are Rivals five-star shooting guard Tyler Dorsey, ESPN four-star point guard Kendall Small, Rivals four-star power forward Trevor Manuel and junior college national player of the year Chris Boucher, a 247Sports four-star prospect.
With the addition of Murray, Oregon’s class would jump to one of the top 10 collections of 2015 talent in the country, which still wouldn’t account for Villanova transfer Dylan Ennis.
Oregon is ready-made for a deep NCAA Tournament run, but could use one more piece in the backcourt. On Tuesday, Murray could fill that void.