LEXINGTON, Ky. – Adding to what was already considered one of the top recruiting classes in the country, highly touted guard Jamal Murray (pictured, No. 8) has signed with the University of Kentucky and will join the Wildcats in the fall. Murray announced his decision at a press conference Wednesday and signed on Thursday, June 25.
Murray, a 6-foot-5 guard from Canada, was originally a member of the 2016 recruiting class but recently reclassified to the 2015 class. As a member of the 2016 class, Murray was rated a top-15 prospect by nearly every recruiting service and tabbed a consensus five-star recruit.
“Jamal is one of the best guards in the country,” head coach John Calipari said. “He showed that in practice at the Nike Hoop Summit and in the game. I had so many people call me to tell me how unbelievable he was. You’re talking about a 6-5 playmaker that can score and can guard multiple positions. He can make an impact from anywhere on the floor. I can’t wait to start coaching him.”
Murray’s stock began to soar following a breakout performance at the Nike Hoop Summit against the USA Basketball Team. He scored 30 points against the United States prior to a 29-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound effort in the BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game. He was named the most valuable player in both games.
A big-time playmaker with great size, good ball-handling skills and a penchant for scoring in bunches, Murray is ranked the No. 10 overall player in the updated 2015 247Sports rankings and No. 12 in the 2015 Scout rankings. Prior to his reclassification, Murray was ranked the No. 15 overall recruit in the 2016 class by Rivals.
“Being able to stay a little bit closer to my parents (was important to me),” Murray said during his announcement on TSN. “After I looked at the history of Kentucky and the players they’ve had get to the next level, it made me want to go there even more and really set my mind to hard work and dedication to the game.”
A product of Kitchener, Ontario, Murray is the third Canadian-born player to sign with Kentucky in the last two seasons, joining fellow 2015 signee Mychal Mulder and 2014-15 forward Trey Lyles.
Murray will join an already stacked recruiting class that includes Mulder and fall signees Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere and Charles Matthews. The group includes three five-star recruits, one four-star recruit, a McDonald’s All-American, a junior-college All-American, three Nike Hoop Summit participants and three Jordan Brand Classic participants.
Prior to Murray’s signing, Kentucky’s 2015 signing haul was regarded a top-three class by virtually every major recruiting service. With the addition of Murray, 247Sports now ranks UK’s signing class as the top-ranked group in the country. Scout has Kentucky at No. 2. It marks the seventh consecutive recruiting class under Calipari to earn a top-three ranking.
Photo Credit: FIBA.com