With four games left in the SEC’s regular season, Auburn has a two-game lead over second-place Tennessee, ownership of the No. 12 ranking the latest AP Top 25 poll and a resume that earned the Tigers a No. 2 seed in the Men’s Basketball Selection Committee’s midseason top 16 reveal. Not bad for a school that hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2003 and finished in 11th place in the SEC last season.

Redshirt junior forward Desean Murray, who redshirted last season after transferring from Presbyterian College, has played a major role in the team’s success, averaging 10.7 points, a team-high 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He’s shooting 49 percent from the field, nearly 36 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line.

Watch this week’s ‘Newcomer Spotlight’ video, featuring Murray:

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‘Little Charles Barkley’ helps Auburn succeed

Murray has provided a secondary scoring option alongside the team’s leading scorers Bryce Brown (16.4 ppg) and Mustapha Heron (16.1 ppg) as a complementary player who can contribute as many as 20 points on a hot shooting night (20 points on 8-for-12 shooting against Gardner-Webb) as well as the potential for double-digit rebounds. He ranks in the top 10 in the conference in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.

Not bad for an undersized forward in his first season playing in the SEC.

Auburn’s athletics website describes Murray as someone who “plays much bigger than his size” and Murray has backed that up with his play this season.

 

Andy Wittry has written for SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.

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