The Junkyard dog is tough, nasty, gritty, first to the floor and most importantly never going to back down from any person, moment, or opportunity. It’s not the guy who scores the most points, or who makes the highlight reels, it’s the guy whose impact is felt via his passion, physicality and willingness to lay it all on the line for a W.
Welcome back to the place where THE Junkyard Dog in College Basketball gets awarded, on a bi-weekly basis. Yes it’s a weekly award presented bi-weekly, befitting the junkyard dog that surely isn’t constrained to the rules of conventional wisdom. The college basketball world is heating up now that we’re in mid-January, and the order at the top is beginning to take shape. One of the surprises at the top, of which there are many, is the LSU Tigers. The job Will Wade has done in turning this LSU program into a laughingstock on the defensive end into the Nation’s best on that side is almost unbelievable. He of course couldn’t have done it without a group of studs that take pride in their defensive effort, and that pride and effort is epitomized by this week’s recipient of the Junkyard Dog of the Week Award: Brandon Murray.
Murray is a FR who has been described by Coach Wade as the QB of the defense and the only game LSU has lost this season Murray missed. What is amazing about LSU defensively is their ability to be aggressive and jump passing lanes for steals, but also on the back end to rotate hard and communicate those rotations. Murray as the QB is an essential part of that, as he guards 1-5 and has an unbelievable motor. The quote below from Wade shows you everything you need to know about this kid.
In this most recent stretch, Murray has helped LSU catapult into a #1 seed (per 5-Star Bets) with wins over Kentucky, Tennesse and Florida. Murray himself had 6 steals over those 3 games, showing off his savvy and his high hoops IQ. Much like the other Junkyard Dogs who have been featured in this series Murray is no the guy who is going to steal headlines, but Coach Wade has made it a point to emphasize how much he really means to this team on the defensive side of the court. He has described his work ethic on several occasions including saying things like “he practices everyday like it’s OT in the Final Four” “he’s a pitbull” and “everything he does is tenacious”. My point, you don’t even have to watch the guy to realize this kid is different and is a major contributor to this group’s tenacious defensive efforts this year that have turned a team that was 100+ defensively last year into the #1 defense this season. And when you do watch him, and I highly recommend doing so, you’ll see the savvy veteran like game instantly and recognize exactly why he is joining this illustrious list of Junkyard Dog of the Week Award Winners. Find time to see Murray play ball if you haven’t already, and come back next week (in 2 weeks) for the next crowing of the Junkyard Dog of the Week award in College Basketball.