The Murray State Racers are your first March Madness darling of 2019. Murray State, a No. 12 seed in the West locale, ran fifth-seeded Marquette off the floor in their opening round matchup of the NCAA tournament, progressing with a 83-64 win.
The Racers are driven by Ja Morant, the genius sophomore point watch projected to be a best three pick in the June’s NBA draft. All Morant did against Marquette was record the eighth triple-double in tournament history, completing with 17 points, 16 assists, and 11 bounce back in the victory.
Morant’s draft stock was secure even before Murray State punched its ticket to March Madness. What’s wild to think about is that Racers likely would have been ignored for an everywhere offer had they not claimed the Ohio Valley tournament title with a tight success over Belmont in the championship game.
Presently Murray State faces Florida State in round two on Saturday after the Seminoles outlived Vermont in round one. FSU shouldn’t mess with the Racers. This is a team with every one of the makings of a Cinderella.
Ja Morant is a best 3 NBA draft pick for a reason
It’s conceivable that just Duke superhuman Zion Williamson gets out beyond Morant in the NBA draft. He didn’t simply satisfy the hype against Marquette — he surpassed it.
Morant ruled a game in which he just took nine shots. While his high-flying dunks get all the attention.
Morant’s best aptitude is his passing capacity. He plays with a impressive mixture of persistence and mindfulness as a lead ball handler, knowing where his partners will be before they even arrive.
Morant led the country in help rate and completed top-10 in scoring at almost 24 points per game. There isn’t a point guard in this tournament as dynamic as him. Thumping out Markus Howard — a main five player in the field — simply demonstrated it.
With Morant in charge, Murray State as of now has an ability advantage against any power gathering group at seemingly the most imperative position on the court.
Murray State likewise has size inside
While Morant was the reasonable star of the day for the Racers, two or three his partners additionally opened a few eyes. Specifically: enormous men KJ Williams and Darnell Cowart.
Williams completed with 16 points and four bounce back on 8-of-10 shooting, generally off dimes from Morant. Cowart had nine points, eight bounce back, three assists, two steals, and a block. In spite of being Murray State’s most reduced scoring starter, there were times when Cowart felt like the second best player in the team because of his all-around game.
Williams, a freshman, is 6’9, 240 pounds. Cowart, a lesser, is 6’8 and near 300 pounds. That kind of size is an irregularity for mid-real teams. With huge bodies in advance, the Racers won’t be overmatched against anybody.
The Racers challenge every shot
The Racers just position No. 80 in the nation in defensive effectiveness, however they complete a couple of things well. For the most part, Murray State exceeds expectations at contesting shots. They held rivals to a 46.4 peffective field goal rate this season, which positioned No. 20 in the nation. Teams only shot 28.5 percent from three against them, which was No. 4 in America.
Murray State gives up too many offensive rebounds typically, which is their downfall defensively. Indeed, Marquette won the offensive rebound battle 18-8 and still got smoked. The Racers are continually searching for the runout experiencing significant change, which helps pace their electric offense.
Morant is one of the extraordinary mid-significant stars of the decade, straight up there with Jimmer Fredette, just with so much more athleticism. His supporting cast has size and doesn’t give up open looks. The Racers are very much a threat to break into the second weekend.
March Madness is all about teams like Murray State and stars like Morant. Get on the bandwagon while there’s still room.