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New rule gives McMurray a chance to test NBA waters

McMurray averaged 15.2 points for USF in 2015 and was selected to the AAC’s All-Rookie team after tying or leading the team in scoring in 15 of the its 33 games. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

To be clear, there is nothing an NBA team could say to pry freshman guard Jahmal McMurray away from USF this year. But under a new rule initiated by the NCAA this season, McMurray can explore his NBA draft options without fear of losing eligibility.

McMurray averaged 15.2 points for USF in 2015 and was selected to the AAC’s All-Rookie team after tying or leading the team in scoring in 15 of the its 33 games.

Under the new rule, why not throw his name out there? He has nothing to lose.

“When I heard the new rule, I just felt like, why not give it a shot and test the rules out?” McMurray said. “My thoughts were to just get my name out there. Maybe they may see my name out there and if I have another good year, it may be recognizable to them and maybe they’ll give me some feedback.

“But I’m definitely 100 percent coming back.”

The rule allows for student athletes to return to collegiate competition if they remove their name from the draft prior to a set date and don’t hire an agent. With this, younger players can get an idea of where they stand without jeopardizing their college careers.

The NCAA established the rule stating players can participate in the combine and attend one private workout, if requested, before making the call. This year’s scouting combine runs from May 11-15, making the deadline for McMurray May 25.

“You never know what could happen,” McMurray said. “Maybe they invite me to a camp or something. Maybe someone won’t be able to make it and they have some slots open. I’m just trying to look at some different options and see what’s out there.”

At 6-foot, 175 pounds, McMurray knows he’s far away from being able to guard NBA point guards. He has proven himself as an offensive threat in the AAC, but realistically, McMurray understands he is years away from competing at the next level.

“I need to get stronger,” McMurray said. “I know I can’t guard no NBA guard because of the physicality. So, getting bigger and stronger and getting wiser. Also working on the things I’m already good at like working on my shot and getting to the rack all the way.

“If I can show that I can get to the basket whenever I want, then that will open people’s eyes and let them know I’m not just a shooter.”

This attempt may not amount to much with McMurray unlikely to receive an invite to the combine, but this won’t be his last attempt. Athletes can go through this process each year without losing eligibility, so McMurray said he will make this a reoccurring event.

“That’s why I’m doing it now that I’m so young,” McMurray said. “It’s just to see what happens and see what they think. Maybe they give me something that I can work off of."