LSU men’s hoops lands shooting guard commit for Class of 2021

New LSU assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry was key in gaining a Class of 2021 commitment from 3-star shooting guard Brandon Murray

Just how much ground did LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade make up to gain a commitment Friday from IMG Academy’s Class of 2021 three-star shooting guard Brandon Murray?

When Murray originally scheduled an April 25 commitment date, he listed Georgetown, Georgia, DePaul, Rhode Island, Memphis, Auburn and UNC-Greensboro among his final group of schools.

However, once Wade elevated Kevin Nickelberry to an on-floor coaching role to replace Greg Heiar on June 19, the Tigers’ pursuit of Murray increased.

With Nickelberry taking the lead on Murray’s recruitment, LSU overtook Virginia Tech and Rhode Island for his commitment.

“I chose LSU because I just felt most comfortable with that decision,” Murray told Prep Hoops. “They recruited me the hardest out of any school and I thought it was just a situation that just fit. Coach (Will) Wade was telling me how I’d fit into the system and everything just felt right.”

Murray, rated No. 235 nationally by 247Sports and the No. 47 shooting guard, became the third member of LSU’s Class of 2021. He joins the nation’s No. 7 center in Jeremy Colbert (6-9, 210) of San Antonio and forward Bradley Ezewiro of Oak Hill Academy who was originally a 2020 LSU commitment who re-classified to 2021.

Murray enjoyed a sterling two-year stay at Baltimore’s Polytechnic High where he was originally set to be a member in the Class of 2020. He instead reclassified to 2021 and transferred to IMG Academy for the upcoming season to spend one year as a postgraduate.

Poly captured the Class 3A state championship in 2018-19 behind Murray’s exploits. Poly (25-2) was back in position to try and defend its title this past season, advancing to the state’s Final Four tournament which was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Murray averaged 22.8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He also shot 66 percent from the field and 55 percent from 3-point range.

“Brandon is a powerful combo guard, that plays with high efficiency and skill,” Baltimore Poly coach Sam Brand told 247Sports. “He brings elite athleticism and strength to the guard position.”

Murray, whose recruiting process skyrocketed throughout this past season with 16 scholarship offers, enjoyed a memorable performance in Poly’s 62-60 victory over IMG. He scored with 21 points during the showcase event referred to as the East Coast Bump.

“They love the fact that I’m a three-level scorer,” Murray said of LSU. “They harped on the fact that they’ll need a scoring guard to come in and they believe I fit that. Also, that I’m an all-around player and that I get gritty on both sides of the court and I just have a dog mentality in me.”

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