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Rob Murphy’s first 2012 recruit

February 27, 2012
English: Name-Raven

Ray Lee will play basketball at EMU in 2012.

Since we just celebrated Senior Day for four men’s basketball players, it’s obvious that Rob Murphy will have some scholarships to give next year. He’ll also have some holes to fill on the team, but — as is often the case in basketball — the biggest hole will be left by the smallest player, Darrell Lampley.

Early in the season, it seemed as though Murphy was grooming Austin Harper to be Lampley’s replacement at point guard, and that may still be the case, but we can now hazard a guess at who will be filling the spot once Harper is gone. Ray Lee, a point guard from metro Detroit, has committed to play at EMU starting next year. Lee is list as a three-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals. Scout lists him as the #20 point guard in the class of 2012, while Rivals lists him as the #27 point guard and #142 player overall.

Obviously Lee is a “get” for EMU from a talent perspective — Rivals reports that he had offers (at least, at one point) from Baylor, Central Michigan, Dayton, Iowa, Iowa State, Rhode Island, Toledo, Central Florida, Virginia, and Xavier — but he’s had what I’ll euphemistically call his share of “issues”.

Here’s what I can find on his background.

By the end of his sophomore year, Lee was getting a fair bit of national attention. scouted him in May 2010 and followed up with an interview the next month. After stints at Robichaud, Cass Tech, and Romulus High Schools, Lee transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia, but in August 2011 he ran into some legal trouble. Specifically, on August 24, he was arrested and charged with four counts of felony sexual
assault. According to the criminal complaint, he was a registered guest in the dorm room of a Marshall University studnet when he allegedly “forced the 17-year-old female victim into multiple positions and attempted to have sex with her.” He was immediately kicked off the Huntington Prep basketball team for violating team rules, which, according to the head coach, state “that the players are to go nowhere on Marshall’s campus other than the Rec Center and for basketball games”. It appears that the accuser dropped the charges a few days later, and Lee returned to Michigan, where he’s spent his senior season at Romulus High School.

An interesting footnote to the whole affair — in some ways the most interesting aspect — is that Lee was rumored to be Iowa’s top target at point guard, but when the story broke, the Hawkeyes immediately dropped his recruitment in favor of Anthony Clemmons, who, you may recall, de-committed from EMU on August 25, the day after Lee’s arrest. Clemmons signed a letter of intent with Iowa a month later.

I have little interest in speculating on what actually happened in that dorm room in Huntington in August. The end result is that Rob Murphy’s first commitment for the class of 2012 is — based on recruiting rankings — an All-MAC caliber point guard.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    February 27, 2012 4:21 pm

    Dear cmadler,
    I hope he works out. I’m somewhat leery because of what has happened to Coach English and a couple of transfers that did not work out. (Axon and the kid from Alabama)
    In any case, Mr. Lee should realize the opportunity he has been given, and hopefully, will act accordingly. There is no doubt from what I have read, he could be a star, and leader for the basketball team. As I have already said, let’s hope for the best.

  2. emujeremy permalink
    February 27, 2012 9:34 pm

    I have to say I am not sold on Austin Harper as a starting MAC point guard. He certainly deserves a shot but I would assume that Murphy would have an open competition with Harper, Antoine Chandler, and Lee.

  3. Mark H. permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:26 pm

    The negative consequences of EMU recruiting a player who was arrested and held on charges of sexual violence, in a dorm room, are serious but apparently no relevant to the decision-makers. Already this is widely discussed in the SE Michigan networks of communication that matter most to EMU’s well being. Same too for the reports that EMU football is picking up a player with a record of repeated drunk driving, who was booted from another team for his behavior.

    EMU cannot afford to create facts to back up the allegations that we’re a university without standards, but in recruiting players with records of violence against women and drunk driving will do just that (is already doing that). Better to lose every game all season than to recruit from the pool to talented players whose behavior has gotten them rejected by other schools.

  4. Kenneth Barna permalink
    April 6, 2012 9:22 pm

    Dear Mark,
    In regards to the basketball recruit, charges were either dropped, or the alleged victim failed to press charges, so that becomes a he said, she said situation. It still doesn’t look good because of all the allegations, but without charges there is no case.
    On the other hand, I would agree with you about the possible football player. My biggest problem beside the drinking problem, is that he would be at Eastern for one semester. Is one semester with the possibility of other infractions worth it?


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