The University of Miami men’s basketball season got started with bad news two hours before tipoff Friday.
Junior forward Kamari Murphy, an Oklahoma State transfer expected to be a major contributor, was suspended for the first three games for a violation of team rules, the school announced as the Hurricanes prepared to host University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley at the BankUnited Center.
Murphy will return to the team Nov. 20 for the second-round game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Murphy sat out last season per transfer rules, and entered this year with high expectations. He is a tenacious rebounder and defender, and a vocal leader. Teammates and coaches raved about him in the past few weeks.
Teammate Sheldon McClellan called Murphy “a junkyard dog,’’ a tireless worker and among the team’s most respected leaders.
“Love him,’’ UM coach Jim Larranaga said of Murphy a few weeks ago. “Last year, I thought there were two areas we needed to improve and give attention to. Kamari Murphy does both very well. He is an outstanding defender and rebounder. He can guard one through five. That’s how quick he is…Once he’s settled in, maybe 10 games in, he’s going to be really, really good.’’
Added Angel Rodriguez: “Kamari brings what this team needed – somebody else to be very vocal, what I call a dog. He not only gets himself going, he gets everybody going.’’