OSU's Kamari Murphy hopes extra work will pay off with more playing time
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
2/13/13 at 5:30 AM
STILLWATER - At midnight one night last week, Kamari Murphy could be found in the Oklahoma State practice gym, putting up shot after shot after shot.
"It's one of the things I did when I first got here, and I think I got away from that," Murphy said. "I brought (my girlfriend) with me, and she rebounded my shots."
In the game following his late-night shooting session, Murphy scored eight points, including six much-needed ones in the first half of the overtime win against Baylor. It was his most productive performance in Big 12 play.
"(Extra time in the gym) gets me a shot rhythm, just keeps my head focused before a game," he said. "Before, I was thinking about getting sleep and whatnot before a game, but I wasn't producing like I used to."
A freshman forward who started his first 15 games at OSU, Murphy is trying to get back on track since being replaced in the lineup last month.
"Going from starting to not playing or to playing two minutes a game, it was tough mentally," Murphy said. "I've been visiting with coaches, trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong."
When Michael Cobbins became fully healthy after a toe injury, Murphy saw his playing time significantly decrease.
He averaged six minutes in a three-game span, and when he did enter games, he struggled with turnovers, including six against TCU.
"He went through a six- or seven-game stretch where as soon as he got into the game he was trying to do something offensively," coach Travis Ford said. "I've not seen that (lately) and hopefully that will continue."
Murphy showed major improvement in the victory at Kansas, when in eight minutes he had four points and five rebounds.
"When I was starting, I was producing, scoring down low and blocking shots and rebounding," he said. "Now that I'm getting my minutes back up, I'm getting back to what I used to do."
Ford told Murphy that when he wasn't looking to score, the baskets would be there. That's what happened against the Bears.
"When you play hard, it seems you find yourself in position to get some baskets, especially with the guards he's playing with," Ford said. "If he'll just play off that, then he'll be fine.
"Later in his career, he'll be able to do some things that he's wanting to do right now."
Looking back, Murphy sees the lessons learned in an up-and-down season.
"I was too comfortable," he said. "I don't know if that was a way of showing me the starting spot wasn't promised, but I'm back to working hard and getting into a routine."
Oklahoma State (17-5, 7-3 Big 12)
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F ||Nash ||6-7|| 13.1 ||4.3|
|F ||Cobbins ||6-8|| 6.6 ||5.6|
|C ||Jurick ||6-11 ||3.5|| 7.0|
|G|| Brown ||6-3 ||15.4 ||4.5|
|G ||Smart|| 6-4|| 14.6 ||5.9|
Texas Tech (9-12, 2-8)
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F ||Kravic ||6-11|| 9.2|| 5.3|
|F ||Tolbert ||6-7|| 9.4|| 5.7|
|G ||Nurse ||6-1|| 1.8|| 0.7|
|G ||Gray ||6-1|| 9.0 ||3.0*|
|G ||Williams ||6-4 ||4.8 ||2.3|
*assists per game
No. 17 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
6 p.m. Wednesday
United Spirit Arena,
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: OSU's Murphy hopes extra work pays off
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
Oklahoma State's Kamari Murphy drives the ball as Texas' Javan Felix defends last Saturday in Austin, Texas. Murphy's recent improvement has helped power the surging Cowboys. ERIC GAY / AP