Huskies freshman Dejounte Murray leans on Jamal Crawford for advice

Feb 10, 2016, 2:30 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm
Huskies freshman Dejounte Murray called fellow Rainier Beach product Jamal Crawford a “big br...
Huskies freshman Dejounte Murray called fellow Rainier Beach product Jamal Crawford a "big brother." (AP)
(AP)
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While the outside world speculates about the future of Washington’s star freshman, Dejounte Murray says he’s keeping his mind focused on the court and his ears directed toward Jamal Crawford, a fellow product of Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School who’s in his 16th NBA season.

“He’s a big brother of mine,” Murray said during an interview with “Danny, Dave and Moore” on Tuesday. “We talk every day and he just tells me to stay focused and not worry about that stuff right now. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

Related: It’s time to start paying attention to the UW basketball team

Murray – who is averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists entering Wednesday night’s game against Utah – is making noise on the court for the upstart Huskies and on mock draft boards. ESPN’s Chad Ford rates Murray as the fifth-best point-guard prospect in the 2016 NBA draft. He’s also projected as the No. 10 pick overall on NBAdraft.net.

Murray says his support system has helped keep him insulated from the outside distractions.

“I don’t worry about it at all. I just stay focused,” he said. “My family doesn’t bring it up to me. The people around me are my circle – my teammates, my coaches – they don’t bring that up to me because I’m focused on only one thing right now: I’m focused on enjoying college, the school part and then the basketball part, trying to make history with this team this year. We haven’t been to the tournament in a long time, so that’s our main focus.”

Here are some other highlights from the conversation:

On how he chose UW: “I really didn’t get a chance to consider another school because I had personal issues and stuff, so Washington was the best fit for me and I committed here really fast. I didn’t want to commit really fast, but I did. So I didn’t really get a chance to consider, but I had a lot of scholarships around the country.”

Advice he’s received from Crawford and other Seattle-area basketball stars: “You can be a hometown hero from here. So talking to them and laying out the options with my family and the coaching staff here, I feel like this is the perfect fit for me. I feel like I made the best decision I could have ever made by coming here.”

His strongest attribute on the court: “I can get to the rim, I feel, like whenever I want.”

On coach Lorenzo Romar’s recruiting, which started Murray’s sophomore year: “Everything that was legal for him to come watch me play, he was there. Whether it was practice, an AAU game, a high school game, a camp, he just showed consistency by coming every time.”

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Huskies freshman Dejounte Murray leans on Jamal Crawford for advice