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The Ole Miss Hoops Handbook: Brandon Murray

The Ole Miss Hoops Handbook: Brandon Murray

OXFORD, Miss. — Welcome back to another special in-season edition of the Ole Miss Hoops Handbook, this time focusing on Brandon Murray who could make his debut today against Cal.

The “Ole Miss Hoops Handbook” is the series that highlights every single eligible member of the 2023-2024 Ole Miss men’s basketball team. During this season, head coach Chris Beard has steered the Ole Miss basketball program in the right direction as they are 9-0. All the more impressive, he has done this while waiting on a response from the NCAA for two of his players.

If you haven’t had the chance to read any of the other articles or are looking to see how a player compares now to his preseason write-up, you can click the link to view those articles here. Earlier in the season after he was cleared to play, we released the edition pertaining to Moussa Cisse. Now, we turn our attention to Murray as we hope to see him play today.

Editor’s note: This “Ole Miss Hoops Handbook” series is set to help the Ole Miss community get familiar with these players and help build excitement for the upcoming season. Every day, The Rebel Walk will highlight an individual player to break down his game and describe what you can look forward to and where we can look for more growth this season.

Each player’s breakdown consists of notes from both the summer scouting and re-watch of film this fall. On top of watching game film, I formed an analysis along with a statistical breakdown from several different sources. I have watched multiple games for each player to help give an accurate picture of their game. In an effort to give a more comprehensive view, I tried to watch one game where a player had larger success statistically and one where his impact may have been overlooked by the box score.

Let’s take a look at today’s focus player: Brandon Murray

Prior to Ole Miss

A former top-100 recruit in the class of 2021, Murray grew up in the Baltimore/DC area and spent most of his prep career at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (known as BPI, or Poly High). In his time there, Murray led Poly High to the 3A State Championship and won the Mr. Basketball award for the state of Maryland. He spent his final prep year at the famous IMG Academy. During his time there, he grew his ranking and found a way into the top-100.

Murray would commit and play for Will Wade (and later on Kevin Nickelberry) at LSU for his freshman season. In his lone season there, Murray started 32 of 33 games and would be the Tigers third-leading scorer. His play earned him All-SEC Freshman team honors.

2021-2022 Freshman (LSU)
10.0 PTS | 3.0 REB | 1.9 AST
42.6 FG% | 33.6 % | 67.7 %
33 games 32 starts

After the season, Murray would transfer to Georgetown to play under Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas had a rather unfortunate year, to say the least, but Murray and the other guard, Primo Spears, stood out as two bright spots. Georgetown would finish the year 7-25 and after the dismissal of Patrick Ewing, Murray entered the transfer portal again.

Sophomore (Georgetown)
13.7 PTS | 3.9 REB | 3.2 AST
39.7 FG% | 31.8 % | 64.8%
27 games 27 starts

During this sophomore year, Murray was Top-20 in the Big East in PPG, APG, STL, and FG%. He also was one of the most heavily relied on guys in the conference and logged the fifth-most minutes of anyone in the Big East.

Murray was the first commitment to Chris Beard at Ole Miss. According to, Brandon Murray was the 12th best player available in the transfer portal.

Notable games:

LSU: 3/5/2022 vs Alabama: 17 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-14 FG, 41 MIN

Georgetown: 2/4/2023 vs UCONN: 21 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 7 TOs 8-18 FG

The Path to Eligibility

In what was one of the more interesting processes to date by the NCAA, the path for Brandon Murray to be eligible is quite unique. Similar to Cisse, Murray is a two-time undergraduate transfer. Earlier this year the NCAA stated that two-time undergraduate transfers would have to sit out a year unless certain hardships had occurred. No longer would a coach being fired warrant a transfer with immediate eligibility.

A majority of the cases were handled prior to or in the first week of the college basketball season. For some, the decisions never came. This is the camp that Cisse and Murray both fit into (granted, Cisse would learn his soon after). Other players who had already heard back were beginning to see either denials or approvals of their appeals to the NCAA’s rulings.

Eight states decided to sue the NCAA for their position on the transfer rules. The belief is that the two-time guidelines violate an anti-trust law. Earlier this week, Judge John Preston Bailey of West Virginia ordered a Temporary Restraining Order to the NCAA that forbid them from enforcing the transfer rules. This meant that for two weeks, players in the jurisdiction of the eight states (Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia) who were deemed ineligible for being a two-time transfer were allowed to play. This is all leading up to December 27th when a preliminary injunction hearing is set to take place, where one hopes there will be a final ruling on the matter.

The NCAA would later release a statement that would allow all two-time transfers to play during this time period regardless of jurisdiction. However, where things would get complicated was whether players would face retaliation if the court later reverses its ruling and deeming the players ineligible (i.e. losing year(s) of eligibility). Multiple reports came out over the last couple of days, and it ultimately led to the final decision that let athletes who have transferred multiple times compete in the 2023-2024 seasons without retaliation.

With that, Brandon Murray is now eligbile.

Editors Note: This is a shortened summary of the full story in an effort to not takeaway from the primary focus of the article.

The Breakdown

Similar to Moussa Cisse, to get an accurate depiction of Brandon Murray, The Rebel Walk watched multiple games from his time at LSU and Georgetown. Not so shockingly is that Murray played two completely different roles at the respective schools. At LSU, Murray was more of a supplemental piece in their starting rotation that was highlighted by NBA talent. At Georgetown, Murray was one of the two main pieces.

Naturally as such, Murray’s usage increased. During his year at LSU, Murray had a 17.7 usage percentage. That figure jumped to 24.7% at Georgetown. For reference, that figure would be second on this Ole Miss group to only Allen Flanigan who has a 29.9%. The number would be closer to Matthew Murrell and Jaylen Murray who both have figures north of 23%.

As a base archetype, Brandon Murray fits into a swingman guard player who has solid strength and scoring to the court. A crafty attacker, Murray knows how to create angles for him to both score and pass the basketball. He can finish at the rim and around the rim, sometimes even acrobatically. This is especially the case in transition or straight line drives where his verticality is on full display.

He really looks to use his size and power to create separation rather than trying to blow by people. Murray is a very smart player on the court who is crafty when it comes to creating those angles and going at the defense especially once he gets into the mid-post/free throw line area. Murray excels at wearing defenders down and attacking the high leg to find opportunities. He likes to go into a eurostep or step-thru, as well.

Murray plays at his own pace on the court, and things never really look sped up for him on the offensive end. He showed flashes of a two man game but with the Ole Miss bigs, it may not be used as much.

During his time at LSU, Murray sat more in the corner and had the occasional play drawn up for him. At Georgetown, Murray was tasked for more creation. His usage increased (aforementioned) and he nearly tripled the amount of possessions as a handler in the pick and roll (191) from his time at LSU (63).

As for the passing aspect of his game, he had a 19.2 AST% last season and that figure jumped up 7 points from his freshman season. Murray shows the ability to add touch with his passses and uses that ability to drive to create passing angles that favor him more. He showed some ability to fire live dribble passes, especially ones through the heart of the defense.

Turnovers are an area of concern on the offensive end, especially in the games where Murray is the most productive. Last year in seven of the top nine scoring performances, Murray logged at least four turnovers. Going even farther, in his top three scoring performances, Murray had seven turnovers per game.

It will be interesting to see the plan for how Ole Miss uses him as a scorer and even more as a shooter. He shows flashes of shotmaking, but isn’t consistent in that realm. His shot selection was an area of concern at Georgetown but some of that factors into scheme and the talent around him.

Murray’s jumpshot is virtually unblockable. It is a rather slow-loading jumper (i.e. Robert Cowherd) but he has a  high release point. The best perimeter situations were base C&S looks but if he needs to find his own shot, look for him to find that in the mid-range.

If he can find consistency, Murray could be a three level scorer and NBA hopeful. At Ole Miss, the best usage would be for him to complement players around him by creating paint touches similar to Jaylen Murray and Allen Flanigan. Ole Miss can use a player like him who is able to put pressure on defenses and get to the rim.

Defensively, Murray is a smart defender who plays with bursts of energy. At LSU, it was really fun to watch. At Georgetown, it looked as if he was saving energy more. He played in very switch heavy systems and can use his length to make plays. He excelled at jumping lanes.

Overall, Ole Miss is getting another versatile guard piece who can add a few more potential lineups to this team. A veteran player with multiple years of high major experience, Brandon Murray will be another guy who scores in bunches. His best usage will be as a player who tries to get into the paint and tries to attack defenses, freeing up space on the perimeter while wearing down other teams. The Rebels are adding a high energy, impact piece midway into the season who can find success in multiple ways out on the court.

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is the Vice President of Operations and the Director of Community Relations for The Rebel Walk. He is also the Director of Basketball Content and Senior Basketball Writer. He has over five years of experience providing in-depth analysis of college basketball through multiple platforms. A former MBA graduate of Ole Miss, TJ started with The Rebel Walk in 2019.

About The Author

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is the Vice President of Operations and the Director of Community Relations for The Rebel Walk. He is also the Director of Basketball Content and Senior Basketball Writer. He has over five years of experience providing in-depth analysis of college basketball through multiple platforms. A former MBA graduate of Ole Miss, TJ started with The Rebel Walk in 2019.

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