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ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball program has added Connor Murrell (Sioux City, Iowa) to its 2018-19 recruiting class, fifth-year head coach Saul Phillips announced on Tuesday (April 17).
Murrell joins prep forwards Mason McMurray (Stow, Ohio) and Nate Springs (Charlotte, N.C.), who signed with the Bobcats as part of the early signing period of the 2018-19 recruiting class on Nov. 9, 2017. The 6-foot-7-inch, 225-pound wing will come to Ohio as a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.
Murrell spent the 2017-18 season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he helped lead the Warriors to a perfect 33-0 regular season, a No. 1 ranking in National Junior College Athletic Association Division I and a NJCAA National Tournament berth. Prior to his stint at Indian Hills, he redshirted at NCAA Division II powerhouse Minnesota State in 2016-17, growing three inches that year.
"Connor's a unique case in that he grew a lot late," said Phillips. "So, his growth as a player is still occurring as well. He's got a little more maturity as a guy who has been through a couple of years of college. He's still got three years left, but he's also a seasoned veteran, so he gives us quite a bit that way. He shoots it very well, has a good feel for the game and was an easy fit personality-wise when he was on his visit."
Under the guidance of head coach Ras Vanderloo, Murrell garnered Honorable Mention All-Iowa honors at Sioux City East High School as a senior in 2015-16, averaging a career-high 21.3 points per game (491 points) over 23 games. He shot a career-best 50.9 percent (166-of-326) from the field – including 47.7 percent (53-of-111) from three-point land. Murrell earned First Team All-Missouri River Conference honors after receiving second team laurels as a junior in 2014-15, when he averaged 15.7 points per game (360 points) over 23 contests. He shot 44.5 percent from the floor in his junior prep season – including a career-best 50 percent (57-of-114) from beyond the arc.
Born Dec. 2, 1997, Murrell is the son of Terry and Amy Murrell.
Ohio has won 67 games over the past four seasons under Phillips and made back-to-back Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinal appearances in 2016 and '17. The Bobcats advanced to the College Basketball Invitational Semifinals in 2016. Ohio has tallied 10 All-MAC selections over the last four years under Phillips. Returning for the Bobcats in 2018-19 will be senior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) – an All-MAC Honorable Mention selection each of the past two seasons – as well as guard Teyvion Kirk (Joilet, Ill.), who garnered MAC All-Freshman Team honors in 2017-18. Also returning for Ohio next season is forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio), who missed all but three games last year due to injury after earning a spot on the MAC All-Freshman Team in 2016-17.