Great intrigue, a bit of excitement and lots of uncertainty surrounded Memorial Coliseum Friday as the Kentucky Wildcats held a special announcement, but did not indicate what it was for.
That is, until just before the announcement when SportsCentre in Canada revealed it was for Jamal Murray:
It wasn't much of a surprise that Murray would be holding an announcement for his own decision on the 2016 NBA Draft. He's been widely viewed as a lock to go pro after his freshman year in Lexington, and his play this year did nothing to deter him from making a smart decision to go pro.
So that's why it came as no surprise once Murray took the stage, he announced he was completely foregoing his remaining college eligibility to remain in the draft. While he has yet to hire an agent, Murray did say he and his family were looking at different possibilities and should make a decision soon for his representation. This means he's now locked into this year's draft as he ends his brief Wildcat career as one of the most prolific scorers in school history.
Murray made the announcement with several of his teammates in attendance.
Teammates starting to arrive for Murray's announcement. pic.twitter.com/Uho81uLmEe— T.J. Beisner (@Beisner_cn2) April 1, 2016
Murray led the Wildcats in scoring at 20.0 points per game this season, which is the highest individual scoring average at Kentucky in the Calipari era. With 720 points this season, he owns the school’s freshman single-season scoring record surpassing Brandon Knight (657 points in 2010-11).
That mark is also good for eighth all-time among all players in UK history. Murray posted three 30-point games this season, two of which came against league competition. The three 30-point games are the most by a freshman in school history, and his 35 points vs. Florida tied Terrence Jones (Jan. 11, 2011 vs. Auburn) for the school record single-game scoring mark by a freshman.
Murray became the first Wildcat to reach double figures in 30 or more games since Jodie Meeks had a run of 32 times in 2008-09. Murray’s streak stretched to 34 straight games. He racked up a 12-game streak of scoring 20 points or more matching the longest such streak for any UK player since Kevin Grevey topped 20 or more points in 12 straight games in 1974-75.
Having hit a 3-pointer in every game this season, Murray owns the UK freshman record for most 3-point field goals in a single season with 113, surpassing Knight’s previous record of 87. His 113 made 3-pointers are second on the UK single-season 3-point field goal list and the most of any freshman in the history of the SEC. It’s also the second most of any freshman in NCAA history, trailing only Stephen Curry’s record of 122.
Good luck to Jamal in his future endeavors!