Sautter: What is Stanford getting in Max Murrell? An 'extremely athletic' wing with upside

Millard North's Max Murrell averaged 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game as a junior.

Millard North senior Max Murrell committed to Stanford on Monday. The versatile 6-foot-9 forward has steadily improved each year through high school and still has a ways to go — and that’s a good thing.

As a sophomore, Murrell averaged 6.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Last season he averaged 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. With an abundance of talent around him at Millard North this season, Murrell is in position to not only improve his numbers once again, but also exhibit the array of skills that made him such a hot commodity among college coaches over the summer.

"Max is an extremely hard worker in the classroom and on the basketball court," Millard North coach Tim Cannon said. "He is a very good teammate with others. His length, running and jumping abilities and versatility will help him and Stanford tremendously."

Cannon isn't alone in his praise.

"He is extremely athletic, tremendous jumper, especially for someone his size. An outstanding shot blocker that has great anticipation and timing," one rival metro coach said. "His offensive skill set has improved every year and he has become a much better perimeter shooter. He will be capable of playing his position inside/out and that versatility will help him at the next level. He will need to work on becoming more physical in the paint but has the athleticism and skill set to be a very productive player there."

The most intriguing thing about Murrell is his upside. At 6-9, he is not a stereotypical, lumbering back-to-the-basket post player. He likely will add another inch or two and still keep the skill set of a wing player. He is capable of hitting the 3-pointer now, but that is a skill he will be able to focus on even more in college. Currently, he can push the pace and lead a fast break when needed. His leaping ability is apparent, which helps him as a rebounder, shot blocker and finisher at the rim. With added college muscle, look out.

Not only is Stanford a good fit for Murrell as a basketball player, it is good for him academically. Murrell has a better than 4.0 grade point average, is an Academic All-State performer and has scored a 31 on the ACT.

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