Aaric Murray Excited For His Chance To Play At WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Aaric Murray Excited For His Chance To Play At WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

It probably does not sound like it would be that bad, sitting out a season due to NCAA rules on transferring from one division one school to another. More often than not, it is more difficult than those players expect. West Virginia Center Aaric Murray transferred to West Virginia University from La Salle and just finished sitting out the 2011-2012 season so he can be eligible to play this fall.

"It was really tough," Murray said. "Especially when we were losing games and I couldn't help my team. My team was out their losing the fight and I couldn't help them."

Murray will give the Mountaineers some much needed height, strength and athleticism next season. He stands 6-foot-11 and is listed at 250 pounds, although he appears to have added some more muscle since arriving at WVU last summer.

Murray averaged 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds through two seasons at La Salle. In those two years, he quickly moved up the school rankings and left with 143 career blocks. That is second in La Salle school history.

"I was supposed to come here out of high school," Murray said. "Once I was able to transfer out of high school I didn't want to make the same mistake twice."

The biggest draw for Murray to WVU was not the new practice facility, or playing in a BCS conference. It was the opportunity to play for Bob Huggins.

"The most important part is playing for Coach Huggins," Murray stated. "Even though I wanted to play in the Big East, I really wanted to play for Coach Huggins."

Murray should bring some excitement to the floor for his teammates and the fans. He is a flashy player who will block shots and likely provide some highlight reel dunks.

"I love blocking shots and running the floor," Murray said with a smile. "I am real athletic and aggressive. I'll do what it takes to help the team win games."

Doing what it takes includes running the floor very well for a big man. In fact, he prefers the fast break to setting up a half-court offense.

"Alley-oops," Murray smiled. "I love doing alley-oops and getting those easy two points. I love to run the floor and let the point guards get you the ball."

Murray will have the benefit of playing with some experienced guards who will look to push the ball up the floor. Transfer Juwan Staten is eligible to play in the fall and receiving high praise from players who practiced with him last season. Gary Browne and Jabarie Hinds will be Sophomores and should have learned a lot of tough lessons through their Freshmen experiences.

"Jabarie Hinds has definitely improved a lot and gotten more aggressive and confident," Murray said. "All of the freshmen have, but definitely Jabarie Hinds. From the freshmen having more experience and me and Juwan, I feel like we can almost win at all next year."

Murray did get to experience something new last season. He could not travel with his teammates to the NCAA tournament or sit on the bench with them. However, since they were only in Pittsburgh, he was able to get in the arena and enjoy some of the feeling of being at the NCAA tournament.

"We didn't get to go there both years at LaSalle or the dance in general at LaSalle," Murray stated. "Just being in the atmosphere in general made me feel like I can do this. We had a bad season and still made it. If we have a good season and make it farther, I know we can do it."

Murray did not get to play alongside Kevin Jones, but did practice with him. He also sat on the bench throughout the season and watch Jones work against Big East opponents.

"Before I came here, I knew a lot of players at other Big East schools and they were talking bad about him saying he wasn't good and didn't have much talent and wasn't athletic at all," Murray said. "Once I got here and saw his work ethic and he was leading the Big East in almost everything, everything they said went out the window."

Murray will likely be the guy asked to replace most of Jones' production. Jones and Bryant are done playing at WVU and now the newest group of Mountaineers are beginning to prepare for the 2012-2013 season. That means transfers like Staten and Murray are now eligible to play.

"I am super excited," Murray said with a smile. "I was just thinking about that last night. It's not coming fast enough. Just knowing I am eligible to play, I'm ready for the season to come now."

Murray wanted the opportunity to play for Bob Huggins and he will get that opportunity. Although it appears he is getting more out of the experience than he initially expected.

"This is a coach that wants you to be a better in person in general on and off the court," Murray said. "I get punished every day if I am late to class or not paying attention in study hall. He just wants you to be better people in general and when we leave here he wants us to be better people."

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