Saint Peter’s Point Guard Jaylen Murray Set To Visit Florida

In the search for another ball handler to add depth to the backcourt the Gators will be welcoming Saint Peter’s transfer Jaylen Murray to campus for a visit May 29-31 as reported by Andrew Slater.


Murray is a 5’11” point guard who just finished his second season with the Peacocks–meaning he was on the roster for the magical Elite Eight run that captured the hearts of the college basketball universe. As he just completed his second season of college basketball, Murray has multiple years of eligibility remaining and as a 5’11” point guard, it’s likely he’s going to play out that eligibility. 


During the legendary NCAA Tournament run for the Peacocks Murray played between 10 and 19 minutes in each game and had his biggest performance against Kentucky where he had 8 points and 2 assists. 


Last season Murray averaged 12.5 points and 2.3 assists, mostly coming off the bench until late in the season when he started 9 of Saint Peter’s last 10 games. Murray’s playstyle is that of a prototypical sixth man–the kind of guy that comes into games and is instant offense. Known for his crafty handle, Murray can make it look like a streetball game when he gets the rock and instantly starts breaking down defenders with dribble moves that both mesmorize and dazzle with changes of pace and direction. Much of what Murray did was out of the pick and roll and isolation, as when he was on the floor–he was there to try and put points on the board. When on the court Murray took 34% of his team’s shots, one of the highest numbers in the country and something that speaks to Todd Golden’s desire to add higher usage players to the backcourt. 


One element of Murray’s game that will be attractive to the Gators is his shooting as he knocked down 35% of his threes which isn’t incredible, but it’s something that looks a lot better when you see the film. Many of his threes are deep, contested, or off the dribble, as he was tasked with creating offense for a Peacocks team that was desperate for it. Murray also shot 84% from the free throw line showing steadiness at the end of games and also demonstrating his touch as a shooter.


Just how serious the Gators are about Murray will be interesting to see. On one hand, you’ve got a young player who has some juice scoring the ball and multiple years of eligibility, and is also someone that likely isn’t going to complain if they’re behind a couple of guys on the depth chart.


On the other hand, the Gators are still in need of a proven ball handler and need someone who can reliably play minutes–and Murray is a player that largely came off the bench for a Saint Peter’s team that finished 308th in KenPom. 


Perhaps the visit coming from Murray speaks to where things are at in the transfer portal right now where a lot of big names have dried up. That might suggest that expectations for what kind of player the Gators should be looking at have changed. The Gators still need to fill out a roster, and there isn’t a lot of sense in sulking about the lack of talent remaining–they’ve got to keep doing what they’re doing and try to land the best players the market has left. 


At this point the Gators are also looking for fit. They could see Murray as a microwave scorer off the bench who brings something no one else does, and are banking on his strong analytical numbers as a pick and roll ball handler. 


With Murray’s visit coming at the end of the month, we should know more around that time.

Eric Fawcett
Eric is a basketball coach and writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His work has been found at NBA international properties, ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @ericfawcett_.