AUBURN, Ala. — The latest Auburn basketball roster move is a surprising one, as Desean Murray has announced he will not be with the Tigers next season.
Murray posted a note on Twitter on Tuesday evening, stating he will either graduate transfer away from the program or pursue a professional career. Murray started at power forward for the Tigers last season, his first after sitting out a year following a transfer from Presbyterian.
— Debo13 (@desean_murray) April 10, 2018
“Auburn has led me to many great memories, experiences and relationships that I will forever cherish,” Murray tweeted. “I appreciate this amazing opportunity to play at one of the best schools in the country and to be coached by coach Bruce Pearl and staff.”
Murray averaged 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season for the Tigers, the latter figure leading the team. Murray and Jared Harper were the only players to start all 34 games for Auburn.
Murray’s announcement comes during what has been a busy stretch for Pearl and his roster.
Harper, Mustapha Heron and Austin Wiley have all announced their entries into the 2018 NBA Draft, although Heron is the only one who is planning to hire an agent. Backup point guard Davion Mitchell announced his intention to transfer late last month.
Murray’s departure will give Pearl and his staff four open scholarships for next season, with Murray, Heron, Mitchell and Patrick Keim all leaving the roster this offseason. Auburn 2019 forward commitment Babatunde Akingbola, who is a 3-star recruit, could reclassify and join the Tigers for the 2018-19 season.
Auburn is set to return rising sophomore Chuma Okeke at power forward next season. Danjel Purifoy, who has stated he will play for the Tigers next season after regaining his eligibility, has previous experience at power forward.