Frontcourt players Jamari Traylor and Aaric Murray will be on Kansas University’s campus this weekend as part of official basketball recruiting visits.
Traylor is a 6-foot-7, 230-pound senior from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.; Murray is a 6-10, 250-pound La Salle University sophomore who has announced plans to transfer from the Philadelphia school.
Traylor visited Oklahoma State last weekend. He has a list of KU, OSU, Indiana, St. John’s, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Memphis and Mississippi State.
Murray, according to CBSsports.com, has KU and West Virginia as his finalists. He’s also listed Oklahoma State, St. John’s, UConn, Rutgers, Marquette, Florida and DePaul in the past.
IMG director of basketball Andy Borman told the Bloomington Herald-Times that Traylor “is about as athletic as it gets. The immediate impact he will bring to a program is he will never be in a game that is above him. A lot of guys can come in and shoot the ball, but it takes a year to get their frame ready. Because of his size, his frame, his athleticism, his quickness, his leaping ability, his strength, all of his physical tools are prepared right now to compete at the highest level.
“He has to work on his offensive game, but as far as protecting the rim, rebounding and finishing, he’s ready to go.”
Traylor, who is not ranked in Rivals.com’s top 150, attended Chicago’s Julian High before heading to IMG this season.
“He’s all muscle, no body fat,” Borman said. “He plays a foot and a half above the rim. He’s 6-7, but he plays more like he’s 6-10, just because he’s a quick leaper, it doesn’t take him long to get off the ground. … I think he’s more suited to play the five defensively than he is offensively. … Do I think that’s ideal for him? No, I think he’s a 4. But I played with Carlos Boozer at Duke. He played the 5 and he was no bigger than 6-7.”
Traylor said he has improved a lot since heading to IMG.
“When I got down there, people really just called me a dunker. Now I think I’ve gotten much better on the offensive end,” Traylor told insidethehall.com. “I think I can dribble much better, I can shoot way better. Really I’ve just got my all-around game way better.”
Murray who played his high school ball at Philly’s Glen Mills High, averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for La Salle last season.
He will have two years of collegiate eligibility remaining but must sit out next season according to NCAA transfer rules.
Murray ranked third in the Atlantic 10 in blocks (73, second in school history), was seventh in rebounding and 11th in scoring in 2010-11. He’s second all-time in career blocks at La Salle (143) after just two seasons. He just missed a triple-double, scoring 20 points, with 11 rebounds and a school-record nine blocks against Morgan State. He had seven double-doubles on the season.
NBA scouts attended several of La Salle’s games to assess Murray’s game.
“I wish Aaric the very best for his future,” La Salle coach John Giannini said recently after granting Murray his request for a release. “I know Aaric always tried to do his best for La Salle, and we did all that we could to help him as a person and as a basketball player. We will continue to support Aaric in this process of finding another university.”
Murray had both good and bad moments last season, entering the coach’s doghouse on at least one occasion. In early January, Giannini benched Murray in what turned out to be an 87-68 loss to Richmond.
“(He was benched) because of several things in the last game that I wasn’t very pleased with, and even before that,” Giannini told philadelphiasportsdaily.com. “I know Aaric, and I know he’s going to play very well from here on out.”