Rebuilding the Roster: Murray State

Murray State absolutely lost more than any other OVC team.

Head Coach? Gone.

Leading Scorer? Gone.

Bruising frontcourt tandem? Gone. Gone.

Now the Murray State Racers are building around Jeffery Moss, T.J. Sapp, Kedrick Flomo, and Justin Seymour.

Nobody will replace OKC Thunder guard Cameron Payne.  No OVC team has a $2.02 million dollar player this year.  Payne was one of those beautiful birds you simply cannot cage.  And the conference benefited from his short stay.  Expect to hear a lot of the tired cliche, ‘We will have to replace him as a group.’

In many ways that is the only thing MSU can say.  It is a team of many new faces.

New Blood

When he took the job Coach McMahon identified some immediate needs.

Transfers Gee McGhee, Damarcus Croaker, A.J. Patty and Bryce Jones all joined the team.

Croaker is going to be a statsheet-stuffer.  Originally signed to Texas, Croaker brings high major athleticism.  The Floridian can compete from the jump, after practicing with MSU last winter.  All spring, Croaker expected to sit until he completed the fall semester, but the NCAA granted his waiver to play immediately.   His widely-ranging contributions will be important.

In McGhee, the Racers are adding a scoring wing.  Formerly a Chattanooga Moc, look for him to either start, or at the very least, infuse the offense with quick points off the pine.

Murray State is a wonderful basketball school, but every coach needs a year to establish their program.  If the same exact team returned there would probably be a few hiccups.  This is not the same team, and for that reason expect more than the occasional bump in the long road.

The greatest aspect of this team is experience.  Mind you, it is not experience together.  Still, nine of the players suiting up for Coach McMahon have played college basketball for somebody somewhere before.  This matters.

Seniors Moss and Terron Gilmore have never played in an NCAA Tournament, despite numerous team accomplishments.  First-year head coaches rarely earn inclusion to the Big Dance and this team will have to surprise to give Coach McMahon the honor.

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