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Lamont Paris describes how Collin Murray-Boyles can reach another level during sophomore year at South Carolina

Griffin Goodwynby:Griffin Goodwyn07/09/24
Lamont Paris summer update on South Carolina men's basketball

Collin Murray-Boyles became one of college basketball’s top rising stars in his debut season for South Carolina.

Murray-Boyles was forced to miss the entire month of November due to mononucleosis. But as the season went along, he quickly emerged as an important piece for the Gamecocks’ immediate and future success.

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The sophomore forward appeared in 28 games, starting in 19 of them, this past season. He averaged 10.4 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game on his way to earning SEC All-Freshman honors.

Three weeks into summer workouts, Murray-Boyles is also in as good of a place he’s ever been from a physical standpoint, Lamont Paris said.

“It’s hard for me to imagine him being any better physically than he is right now. He’s at an optimal (place), other than maybe cardiovascularly. It’s the summertime – guys aren’t going to be where they’re going to be in November, December, January,” Paris said. “His explosiveness, his body comp, his strength – I think it’s as good as it can get right now.”

Paris said Murray-Boyles, along with Morris Ugusuk, has also developed leadership skills by helping his new teammates acclimate to South Carolina.

“They’re helping guys that are new to the program, even though, as young guys, they’re learning some things themselves. But they’re helping some guys, even some older guys that are new to the program, in terms of, ‘Hey, here’s what we do. When coach says this, he means that,’” Paris said. “Those things are really important.”

But Paris said every player has room to grow before the upcoming season. He added that there are numerous ways Murray-Boyles specifically can elevate his game and come closer to his ceiling in his second year with the Gamecocks.

The primary way Murray-Boyles can improve next season, according to Paris, is by generating more offense himself. Paris described Murray-Boyles as “naturally unselfish,” which he said is “a great quality to have.”

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Murray-Boyles’ ability to be a little more selfish on offense could open a new dimension to South Carolina’s offense, Paris said.

“Once he gets good at that, teams will try to take that away, and he also can pass,” Paris said. “His assist-to-turnover ratio was good last year, particularly for a young big.”

Paris said that Murray-Boyles is developing what his go-to and countermoves are as he aggressively attacks the basket.

But Murray-Boyles can unlock even more potential by becoming a more confident shooter, Paris said.

“He’s got really good touch,” Paris said. “I want him to explore that this summer and see what it really looks like so that by the time November and December hits, we know what it looks like for him, and we won’t be out there guessing.”

Paris is not the only person who believes Murray-Boyles’ has lots of potential, though. Writers from both ESPN and CBS Sports already project Murray-Boyles to be a first-round pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

And with a positive sophomore campaign, he can get even closer to fulfilling that potential, Paris said.

“Even though Collin made the All-Freshman Team last season, it’s no secret. I’ve talked about his ceiling last year. I still believe his ceiling is incredibly high. And he’s still not that close to it,” Paris said. “He can be a good player and not be that close to it. But the challenge will be: Can he become a phenomenal player as he continues to get closer to his ceiling?”

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