Tariq Sbiet is the National Scout for North Pole Hoops (NPH) Canadian National Scouting Services. He was kind enough to talk to me about Jamal Murray, the player currently on a visit to Kentucky and one of the hottest names in college basketball. You can follow him on twitter @Tariq_NPH
*Bold Type is ASOB
How long have you been watching Jamal Murray play basketball and if you could compare his style of play to someone, who would that be? I've read a lot of comparisons to Jason Kidd.
(Sbiet) We discovered Jamal in May of 2012 at the Adidas Tri-City camp in his hometown of Kitchener. In terms of comparisons, he represents the new age PG. People always wonder what position he plays and I always say, he's a play maker that can run your team as a lead guard, but also create from the 2 spot and carry a team as a primary scorer. A high level guard that will give his coach what he needs.
Not a fan of making these comparisons because Jamal is his own player, but if I had a gun at my head:
John Wall, D-Rose mold in terms of being a big playmaking guard. Of course Jamal does not have the same natural explosiveness, but is a better shooter.
Jamal's mental toughness, focus and maturity is what separates him from most. Intangibles.
That's definitely encouraging to hear about his flexibility at his position. If he does indeed choose to reclassify to 2015 and join the Wildcats, he will be sharing a lot of time with two other extremely talented guards in Tyler Ulis and Isaiah Briscoe. Would playing with them be something that Murray would welcome and how do you see him fitting into a three guard set? Could he move to the wing if needed?
Jamal is the ultimate competitor that is extremely confident about his ability.
I can't speak on behalf of Jamal, but clearly his father Roger and J feel comfortable enough to take a visit.
As mentioned earlier, Jamal is a basketball player that will give his coach what is needed, meaning if he is asked to play 1,2, or 3, he can and will do so. But of course his entire career, he has been playing 1 or 2 with the ball in his hands. That said, he can also play off ball as well.
Reclassification is becoming more and more frequent in college basketball. Right now Jamal is listed as a member of the class of 2016 but he is looking to possibly reclassify to the class of 2015. To my understanding, he is currently a high school senior in Canada. Could you help shed some light on this subject as far as his reclassifying situation and what he intends to do if he decides to stay in the class of 2016?
In my opinion, Jamal is ready physically and mentally for the next level.
Usually Canadian kids that feel they need the extra year (which is treated as a post grad) they take it to either get stronger, refine skills, or boost their academic situation.
I can't speak on what Jamal intends on doing if he stays 2016, as it would only be speculation. Only Jamal and Roger know.
Obviously Kentucky is an attractive landing spot for almost any college basketball player. What about Kentucky, and John Calipari in particular, makes it a good fit for Jamal if he decides to commit?
Jamal Murray has thrived under the bright lights his entire career, and has stepped up in every occasion.
OK, last question. From what you know, is there any kind of time table for Jamal to make his decision? Should we expect something from him sooner than later now that he's made his visit to Kentucky and are there any other visits planned in the near future?
Roger and Jamal have kept things quite private, and I respect that. So to answer your question, no there is no time table.
Thank you so much for your time with A Sea of Blue. Hopefully we can chat more in the future if Jamal decides to become a Wildcat.