Bulls freshman on brink of milennial mark
He stands on the cusp of quadruple digits in terms of minutes played, yet Bulls freshman PG Jahmal Murray has shown neither a physical nor mental sign of hitting a wall.
But he is driving his coach up one.
Tuesday night, well after the Bulls' practice had adjourned, Coach Orlando Antigua stood pounding on his second-floor office window, hollering for McMurray -- his only healthy true point guard -- to get off the Muma Center floor at once.
"He's still out there shooting and playing one-one-one," Antigua said. "I said, 'Get outta the gym!'"
In this season of attrition, Antigua is trying to keep McMurray's practice habits reasonably conservative so he can use his 6-foot rookie liberally when it counts. McMurray (15.7 ppg) enters Thursday's home contest against Connecticut leading the American Athletic Conference in minutes per game (35.7). The next minute he plays will be his 1,000th.
"He's having a hell of a freshman year," junior PF Chris Perry said. "I haven't seen a freshman year like this before."
In terms of game time, his year could get more astounding.
With a minimum four games remaining, McMurray is a lock -- barring injury -- to break Dominique Jones' 8-year-old Bulls freshman record of 1,085 minutes. He's likely to become the first Bull to log 1,100 minutes in a season since Jones (1,224) and Chris Howard (1,183) in the 2009-10 season.
Those two totals are the highest since USF began charting minutes played in 1979. One victory in the AAC tournament, and McMurray could make a run at Howard's mark.
"It doesn't surprise me," Antigua said. "The kid's a gym rat and he's in great shape physically, mentally. He's got fresh legs, so not surprising at all."