Coppin State waiting for forward Michael Murray's broken right hand to heal

Leading scorer and rebounder from last year's team expected to miss at least next two weeks

  • Michael Murray shoots during a game at Indiana last year.
Michael Murray shoots during a game at Indiana last year. (Pat Lovell, USA Today Sports )
November 07, 2013|By Edward Lee | The Baltimore Sun

Coppin State's Michael Murray was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason All-Conference first team, but the 6-foot-5 small forward's senior year is on hold.

Murray broke his right (shooting) hand during practice about a month ago when a teammate whacked him across the hand while Murray was attempting a shot.

“It killed me when it happened,” Murray recalled. “I’ve been down, but I’ve tried to stay active, have been working out. I’m just trying to stay ready for when I come back and play.”

Murray, who is still wearing a cast around his hand, has been prohibited from doing anything with his right hand, but he has tried to practice his shooting and dribbling with his left hand.

“I’ve been working on my left, trying to get ambidextrous,” he said. “I started shooting with my left hand, and it’s actually looking good. People are telling me I should shoot with my left hand. So I’m working on it. If I can’t shoot with my right, I’ve got to be ready so that when I come back, I can use both hands.”

Eagles coach Fang Mitchell said Murray is expected to miss at least two more weeks while the bone continues to heal. Mitchell said the onus is on the rest of the team to fill the void for Murray, who led Coppin State in scoring last season (12.4 points per game) and the conference in rebounding (8.9).

“Our kids know what they have to do,” Mitchell said. “They know we’ll be missing a big part of our team with Murray being out, but they know they’re going to have to get up if we’re going to be successful at all.”

Teammates like senior shooting guard Andre Armstrong (12 points per game) and junior point guard Taariq Cephas (7.7 points per game and 3.0 assists per game) will be counted on to contribute while Murray is sidelined. But Armstrong acknowledged that taking the floor for at least the first three games without Murray could be difficult.

“Mike is a big factor for us,” Armstrong said. “It definitely hurts, but we just need people to step up. We have to until he gets back.”

Murray is doing what he can to stay in shape, but he conceded that taking part in individual drills and exercises does not compare to full-team practices and games.

“I do worry about that,” Murray said of becoming rusty, “but I feel like if I stay in tip-top shape, I’ll be fine, and everything will come back naturally to me. I believe that I have a very good IQ for the game, and I’ll be fine. I can do multiple things. Not only score, but rebound and play defense. So I’m not worried.”

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