Rebuilding the Roster: Murray State
Murray State missed the NCAA-tournament by seconds. Belmont stole what the Racers felt they earned with their 25-game winning streak. Will 2016 mark the return to the Big Dance for MSU?
The culture and fan enthusiasm persists despite major roster upheaval. Former Head Coach Steve Prohm was replaced by Assistant Coach Matt McMahon. They kept it in-house, but a change in leadership is always tenuous. This season Murray State will once again attempt to cultivate a winning program under a new coach.
Few college basketball schools have a greater tradition of hiring the right guy. And supporting him immediately.
Now it is time for Coach McMahon’s turn.
The Racers lost Tyler Rambo to transfer. Rambo landed with University of Indianapolis (DII). Also, sophomore Jeff Martin left the program. He landed with LeTourneau University, a member of Division III. Martin scored just 17 total points in two years in Murray, Kentucky.
Rambo is the more significant loss. He accrued 280 career points and 114 career rebounds in three seasons.
Two impact freshmen were added to the roster. Chad Culbreath (5-foot-9) is a reliable shooter and he can make magic in the open floor.
He is an acrobat in traffic and the spritely guard will always draw foul calls. If Culbreath is able to split time evenly with Bryce Jones the Racers will be a handful for opponents.
Big-bodied Brion Sanchious is a wonderful rebounder. At 230-pounds he does not track back swiftly in transition though. His contributions in year one will be occasional.
Culbreath can do more to help immediately. Murray State also added Charles Brown out of New Orleans.
Murray State lost more than any other OVC program, with Jarvis Williams, Jonathan Fairell, and T.J. Sapp all exhausting their eligibility. They also lost the conference’s best scorer to the NBA. Even if Coach Prohm stayed this was destined to be a rebuilding year.
But how quickly the walls of the castle soared right back up. The fortification was hardly down long enough to suffer any damage.
Behind the impact transfers DaMarcus Croaker and Gee McGhee the starting lineup is exceptionally athletic. When they rebound as a unit the Racers are difficult to stop. Any anticipated bumps in the road should be smoothed out by two reliable point guards in freshman Culbreath and another transfer Bryce Jones.
A 16-0 conference mark is unrealistic to replicate, but battling for the OVC West Division crown is not.