Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Jamal Murray Planning More Visits, Wants to Be No. 1 Pick in 2016
After taking an official visit to Kentucky last weekend, Canadian point guard Jamal Murray plans to take more visits and is still undecided about whether to remain in the Class of 2016 or reclass to 2015.
“I like what [Kentucky] has to offer,” the 6-foot-5 Murray out of Athlete Institute (Ontario) told SNY.tv by phone on Friday evening. “They get guys to the NBA quick and they really develop each individual to the best of their abilities.”
Kentucky already has two point guards for next season in rising sophomore Tyler Ulis and incoming freshman Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic.
Asked how Kentucky would manage three point guards, Murray said, “We didn’t really discuss that. We’ll be good in the backcourt. I would complement them. We’ll complement each other.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari previously met with Murray and his family in Ontario, and reinforced during the official visit that he likes his game.
“It was good, I enjoyed the visit,” Murray said. “He likes my shooting ability, my range, whatever I do on the court, he likes. My playmaking ability.”
Still, Murray plans to take more visits, but he and his father declined to say where.
“I’m still looking at all my options,” Murray said.
“No date on that,” his father, Roger Murray, adding that Jamal would probably take “a couple more visits.”
Murray is currently listed as the No. 21 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, but that’s not good enough for the ultra-competitive point guard.
“I have some work to do, I think I can do a lot better than that,” Murray said. “I see no reason why I shouldn’t be there [No. 1] in 2016.”
He has yet to decide whether to remain in 2016 or reclass to 2015 and sees advantages in both. In either case, he could be eligible for the 2016 Draft.
If he remains in 2016, Murray said, he could “Work on my body, get quicker, stronger, develop more muscle and get more durable and work on my game longer. Stay with my family another year.”
If, on the other hand, he reclasses to 2015, the advantage is, “Going to a good university, getting my education and looking forward to the next step.”
There is no timetable on the decision and it could go into the summer.
“[Maybe] two months,” Murray said. “My dad’s taking care of it. That’s a choice for my dad to make.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.