Murray State Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Murray State Racers
Ohio Valley (27-5, 16-0)


Murray State lost four of their first six games. And that included winnable contests against Houston, Portland and Valparaiso, but after that this team was virtually unstoppable. The Racers won their next 26 games in a row before finally succumbing to Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament finals.

Big Wins: 12/6 Western Kentucky (93-81), 12/13 at Evansville (81-79), 12/20 Illinois State (89-77)
Bad Losses: 11/14 Houston (74-77), 11/28 vs Portland (61-64), 3/7 vs Belmont (87-88)
Coach: Steve Prohm

Why They Can Surprise:
Murray State is one of the best scoring teams in the nation and they score in every way imaginable. Sophomore Cameron Payne is an amazing talent who will carry this team in the postseason just as he has done throughout the regular season. Payne is averaging 20.3 points, 5.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Payne is a prolific outside shooter, but will get a lot of points at the charity stripe as well. Speaking of points from the foul line, forward Jarvis Williams earns over 25 percent of his 15.5 points per game from the line. Williams is also the main reason that this is one of the better rebounding teams in the OVC. T.J. Sapp and Jeffery Moss are also double-digit scorers and Justin Seymour is not too far off the mark. All those of those wings join Payne as major outside shooting threats.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Murray State is going to give up points since they want to get up and down the floor, yet sometimes they can give up too many easy baskets. Coach Steve Prohm wants to go for steals, but that can lead to open looks for the opposition or fouls for Murray State. And the Racers do not have the best depth if they do run into foul trouble. For the most part this is a six man rotation. Yet there will be times when Murray State needs quality minutes from players like Kedrick Flomo, Wayne Langston and Tyler Rambo. There is quite a bit of drop-off in production after the top six and it remains to be seen if those roleplayers can make a big play or two when the season is on the line.

Probable Starters:
Cameron Payne, Sophomore, Guard, 20.3 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.0 spg
T.J. Sapp, Senior, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 2.8 apg
Jeffery Moss, Junior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Jarvis Williams, Senior, Forward, 15.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Jonathan Fairell, Senior, Forward, 5.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kedrick Flomo, Freshman, Guard, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 apg
Wayne Langston, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Tyler Rambo, Junior, Forward, 3.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Justin Seymour, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 1.2 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.1 (9th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.7 (210, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (16, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (87, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (64, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.6 (33, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.7 (148, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (62, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (25, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (73, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    CIT    First Round win over Missouri State
2014    CIT    Second Round win over Nebraska-Omaha
2014    CIT    Quarterfinal in over Towson
2014    CIT    Semifinal win over Pacific
2014    CIT    Championship win over Yale
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Colorado State
2012    NCAA    Third Round loss to Marquette
2011    NIT    First Round loss to Missouri State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Vanderbilt
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Butler
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to North Carolina
2004    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Illinois
2002    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Georgia

*all team stats through 3/8


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