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Tolu Smith, Matthew Murrell named to preseason All-SEC basketball team

Tolu Smith, Matthew Murrell
Tolu Smith (left) and Matthew Murrell (right). Photos courtesy of UM and MSU Athletics.

College basketball is just around the corner and the preseason All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) team has been released with two Mississippi players featured on the list.

Mississippi State center Tolu Smith (First Team All-SEC)

Though the Bay St. Louis native suffered a foot injury during an early October practice and will not see any action on the court until at least some time during conference play, the SEC listed Smith as one of the top players in the conference as the regular season approaches.

The 6’11” big man went from starting zero games at Western Kentucky to averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds on the way to a first-team All-SEC senior campaign last year. Smith was also named winner of the Howell Trophy, given annually to the state’s top player in college basketball.

Mississippi State will tip off the upcoming season on November 8 against Arizona State in the Barstool Sports Invitational in Chicago, Ill.

Ole Miss guard Matthew Murrell (Second Team All-SEC)

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Murrell has spent all four years at Ole Miss, originally signing to play under former head coach Kermit Davis. The shooting guard was dubbed as a top target out of high school for his presence as a defender as well as his ability to shoot the ball, especially from behind the three-point line.

Murrell averaged 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists last season and is expected to be a major contributor as a veteran on Chris Beard’s first roster in Oxford. Murrell was a finalist for the Howell Trophy in 2022.

Ole Miss will make its regular season debut on November 8 at home against Alabama State.

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