Murdock caps superb career at KWU with NAIA All-America honor

4/5/2024 | Men’s Basketball

Jun Murdock entered Kansas Wesleyan’s 2023-24 basketball season determined to be better than he was a year earlier.

Murdock, the Coyotes’ uber-talented point guard, averaged 11.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds during the 2022-23 season. Decent numbers but down from what he had accomplished his sophomore season when he averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and was named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.

“Being left off (the All-America list) last year put some fuel into my fire,” Murdock said. “I just wanted to be better especially for my teammates and going into my senior year.”


And better he was. Much better.


Murdock averaged 18.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals while helping the Coyotes advance to the NAIA national tournament for a third consecutive season. He scored in double figures 29 times and surpassed the 30-point plateau four times including a career-best 35 against Southwestern on February 17 inside Mabee Arena.


His efforts did not go unnoticed as he was named a Third Team All-American last week.


“I think it’s pretty amazing, it’s a blessing,” Murdock said. “Everybody doesn’t get that opportunity to be on that team and it’s just amazing to me.”


Almost as amazing as his production during three fabulous years at KWU. He started all 96 games he played and was the catalyst in helping the Coyotes win 72 of them – 23 during the just-completed season.


A former standout at Wichita Southeast High School and transfer from Friends after his freshman year he averaged 14.5 during his time in Salina.


Leaving Wichita was the key, he said.


“I feel like once I got to college, I started really being confident in my game, how I play and who I am,” Murdock said. “That’s what I feel like I was missing from high school. But once I got to college and I put in the work then I was going to be confident no matter what.”


He also was able to have the college experience he sought. The arrival of his older brother Jordan on coach Anthony Monson‘s staff was a bonus. Jordan was twice an NAIA All-American while playing at Friends.


“When I was at Friends I didn’t really get to build relationships with my teammates or coaches,” Jun said. “And then my brother came to coach I able to share that experience with him.”


The Murdocks were a perfect fit.


“We always talked outside of practice about things I could work on and be better on,” Jun said. “A lot of times I know what he’s going to say to me just because we have that same basketball knowledge and IQ, which I think comes from my dad (Johnny). I feel like we do share a lot of those things but he also gives me a different perspective to look at things.”


“He had to sit out a year after he transferred from Friends because of our conference rule,” Monson said. “He was our hardest worker in practice almost every single day and didn’t play a game the entire year. The kid showed up every day and worked his tail off. He battles, he competes.”


Murdock is majoring in sports management but isn’t sure what is next.


“I have no idea, I’m still trying to figure it out myself,” he said with a laugh.


A career in coaching, perhaps?


“Maybe, I’ve been thinking about it a little bit but that may be later down the road,” he said.

Murdock doesn’t hesitate when asked what he will miss most after graduation.

“It’s definitely got to be my teammates,” he said. “Going to practice with them every day and then going into games with them – you just don’t build relationships like that every day. I’ve been around some of these guys for three and four years.”

No one is more appreciative of what Murdock achieved at KWU than Monson.

“If you could draw up what a perfect player would look like – work ethic, teammate, coachable – you’d get Jun,” he said. “When you combine a guy who understands the game like he does with the work ethic he has you get really special players and that’s why he’s great.”

“It’s just crazy that all of this is coming to an end soon,” Murdock said, “but I appreciate everyone that’s helped me here.”