Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Remember how Murray State almost saved us all from watching Butler advance to the National Championship? If you don't remember, let me remind you.
In a second round match up in the NCAA tournament, Murray State faced off against Butler. The game was highly competitive throughout and with less than 20 seconds left, Butler led by one.
Once the game was on the line, the Racers turned the ball over on poor execution and Butler went on to victory.
Now let's just say, Gordon Hayward didn't leave his man; would Butler have been in the National Championship?
However, he did leave his man and Butler advanced while Murray State was sent home packing. But, here's a question that you have to ask yourself: Can Murray State continue the success?
My answer, yes they can!
Three of their top five scorers will return for next season. Not to mention, the Racers pulled four recruits that will play big roles next season.
Shawn Jackson the 6-foot-9 center will be a key contributor inside. His frame is slightly better than his predecessor Tony Easley and he will use that to advantage. In his senior season, he showed us all just how good he could be both offensively and defensively.
He averaged 21.8 points, 12 rebounds and 7.2 blocks per game. Talk about a monster inside.
Danero Thomas will be hard to replace. But with Christian Griffin I think it won't be that hard. He is a sure scoring threat off the wing. He has a great jumper with the ability to make precise cuts on offense.
His weak point would be his defense. He needs to slim down and inherit lateral quickness.
Jeffrey Reese recently committed to Murray State back in 2009 but enrolled this year. This long forward will have the chance to crack the starting line-up. His energy and dedication to the game cannot be taught.
Everybody wishes they had a player like Reese.
Brandon Garrett edges off the 2010 recruiting class. He isn't the greatest athlete but he will help out with depth. He took the community college route before making his way to Murray State.
He did it at the right time. Murray State needs his length and size in post. He will be a huge contributor next season as well.
With the recruiting class Murray State has been able to put together, along with the experienced players that returned, they have a great chance of coming out on top in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Not just the Ohio Valley, but they could make noise in the NCAA tournament.
Yes, they did lose players, but they also acquired prospects to fill the void. Murray State was a 30-win team last season.
This upcoming season, I can see them being just as dominant. Watch out for the Racers, the Mid-Majors are back!