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Oklahoma State men's basketball: Newcomer Kamari Murphy is getting double takes

For a team that is lacking in numbers due to injuries, the unheralded Murphy has been a gift for the Cowboys
by John Helsley Published: November 14, 2012
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photo - OSU men's basketball player Kamari Murphy (21) poses for a photo during basketball media day for Oklahoma State University at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OSU men's basketball player Kamari Murphy (21) poses for a photo during basketball media day for Oklahoma State University at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Kamari Murphy's twitter handle — Kamari Who — tweaks anyone who has ever dared doubt him.

“That comes from the years of people underrating me,” said Murphy, a freshman forward at Oklahoma State. “I love being the underdog. Ever since high school, people didn't think I'd be one of the top players.

“It comes with the basketball life. But I accepted it. I like coming from the bottom. ‘Who is this guy?'”

And here he goes again, causing double takes with the Cowboys, slotted for significant minutes in his rookie season, which continues Thursday as OSU opens play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

Murphy, who started in his Cowboys debut against UC Davis, stands as a godsend for a team already down two players to injury and still easing center Phillip Jurick back into action following his offseason recovery from a torn Achilles.

“He just plays so hard, and he's a competitor,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “His game fits our system — he can run, he can jump. He's a guy who I think can compete in the Big 12, because of how hard he plays.”

The “Kamari Who” tag followed Murphy to Stillwater.

While the attention from last year's recruiting class focused on Texas prep teammates Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, Murphy flew under the radar, despite a strong season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. For IMG, which finished 28-2 and ranked in the top five nationally among prep schools, Murphy averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

And yet, Murphy went almost unknown to Cowboys followers.

Already, that is changing.

Murphy contributed seven points and six boards in OSU's season-opening 73-65 win over UC Davis, following up a productive preseason that saw him play well on the team's exhibition tour of Spain.

And his energetic, hard-nosed style is giving Cowboys fans reason to get to know him.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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