#116 Murray State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Murray State Racers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #116
Conference Rank: #3 Ohio Valley

Murray State Team Page#116 Murray State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Murray State Basketball Tickets

Murray State did not have the huge season most expected in 2012-2013. The Racers still won 21 games, but Belmont put an end to their NCAA Tournament hopes during the conference tournament. There is going to be a significant amount of rebuilding time for the Racers, but Murray State has enough talent to still compete in the Ohio Valley Conference. This is not a group that is going to be considered for an at-large bid, yet they could be a very dangerous team by March.

2012-13 Record: 21-10, 10-6
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Steve Prohm
Coach Record: 52-12 at Murray State, 52-12 overall

Who’s Out:
Isaiah Canaan has dominated the league for quite some time. During his senior season he averaged 21.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. No single player is going to come close to replacing all of that production. To make matters worse, Coach Steve Prohm also lost the only other two double digit scorers on the team. Wing Stacy Wilson averaged 13.5 points per contest and Ed Daniel was a beast in the paint. On top of his 13.2 points per game, Daniel led the squad with 10.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. The next highest scorer last season was Brandon Garrett and he too has run out of eligibility. Garrett started all 31 games beside Daniel and proved to be a decent secondary interior scorer and rebounder. Frontcourt depth and experience will be an issue with the absence of Latreze Mushatt.

Who’s In:
Coach Prohm will have to rely quite heavily on his newcomers. Due to the complete lack of experience in the frontcourt, Murray State went out and grabbed some forwards from the junior college ranks. Jonathan Fairell and Jarvis Williams will have to make a big impact right away. Fairell, a 6-7 junior, is an efficient and quality interior scorer. His toughness on the glass will be appreciated too. Williams is a superb athlete for a 6-8 forward. That athleticism will lead to some thunderous dunks and impressive blocked shots. But Williams is not all flash; he can score with consistency and will do the tough work around the basket. The backcourt needs some weapons too and the Racers have plenty of potential with their newcomers. The big name is T.J. Sapp. He played at Clemson for a bit over a year and will be eligible to suit up for the Racers after the first semester. Sapp has some work to do defensively, but if he can find his stroke, Sapp will be a great asset to this team once he is eligible. Jeff Martin, Trey Dickerson and Cameron Payne will at least add depth on the perimeter. Dickerson can get up and down the floor in a hurry. Sometimes he can play a little out of control, but he is a very good passer with nice vision. Cameron Payne is another point guard, but he is a potent scorer as well and could see some minutes off the ball. Wherever he plays, Payne can knock down the long ball with consistency and play solid defense.

Who to Watch:
Zay Jackson had a solid freshman campaign back in 2011-2012. He was the main backup to Canaan at the point and did a fine job running the show. After sitting out a season, Jackson will be ready to lead the way on both ends of the floor. Offensively Jackson is not much of a scoring threat, but that can change if his shot improved during his year off. Dexter Fields and Jeffery Moss are also back to provide the backcourt with some much needed experience. Fields, a 6-2 senior, is the lone returning starter from the 2012-2013 season. Fields is mostly a shooter, which he does very well from beyond the arc, and now the Racers will need him to use his speed to be more aggressive attacking the basket. Moss could turn into the more dynamic scoring option. As a freshman he connected on 40.3 percent of his attempts from long range and did a decent job making things happen by attacking the basket. Now that Murray State needs him to do more, Moss could see his numbers take a huge bump. C.J. Ford played a small role as a freshman, but he could see his minutes drop if all of the other point guards on the roster surpass him on the depth chart.  

Final Projection:
Even without Canaan, the backcourt should be strong. Canaan took over 16 shots per game and now it is somebody else’s turn to lead the way. Surely nobody will be as productive as Canaan, but the backcourt as a whole can replace most of his scoring. The bigger questions are in the frontcourt where Murray State has little choice but to rely heavily on their two new junior college transfers. The only other options are a handful of sophomores who did not play much in 2012-2013. Tyler Rambo, Zay Henderson and Terron Gilmore all have their best basketball ahead of them and now their developmental time is over. Coach Prohm does not need all three forwards to average 20 plus minutes per contest, yet Murray State is not going to compete with teams like Belmont and Eastern Kentucky without quality depth.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Zay Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Dexter Fields, Senior, Guard, 6.5 points per game
Jeffery Moss, Sophomore, Guard, 4.4 points per game
Jonathan Fairell, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Jarvis Williams, Junior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.8 (52nd in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (179, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (76, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (126, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (30, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (129, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (186, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (112, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (161, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (226, 6)


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