Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor
Eighteen years ago, Head Coach Matt McMahon said if he ever got the chance to coach a team, he would start all his seniors.
Starting the floor for their last time, three senior basketball players shook the hands of their teammates and watched their own farewell videos on the home court.
On their senior night, the Racers won against UT Martin 79-55. The team finished the night with several team bests.
At the end of the game, the seniors gathered on the Murray State ‘M’ in the middle of the court, threw their hands in the air and smiled as they watched their farewell videos.
A 6-7 forward from Jackson, Mississippi, Terron Gilmore appeared in 13 games his freshman year, averaging 8 minutes 30 seconds per game.
Though he only averaged 1.5 points per game and .9 rebounds, Gilmore came back in 2013-14, playing a career-high against Brescia on Nov. 12. He also played in a win over the University of the Pacific in CIT Tournament on April 1, 2014.
“He is a first-class young man,” McMahon said. “He’s been here four years, and minutes and production haven’t been where he would’ve liked, but there hasn’t been one day where he didn’t come to work with a positive attitude. Great teammate and loved by everyone in the program.”
Finishing his career, Gilmore appeared in 12 games, averaging 5.2 minutes and 1.1 points. During the last minute of his final game against the Skyhawks, Gilmore scored the final layup for the winning point.
McMahon said it was a no-brainer to start Gilmore in his last game.
After spending two seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas, Wayne Langston, 6-7 forward from Washington, D.C., signed to Murray State and played in the 2014-15 season. McMahon said Langston worked hard and though he didn’t get the court time he wanted, Langston proved himself a key player of the team.
In his junior year, Langston appeared in 33 games averaging 12.2 minutes per game with 2.5 points and 3.2 rebounds. Though he averaged less than three points per game, McMahon said he is proud of Langston.
“You look at the great history of Murray State and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s made a bigger leap from their junior to senior year,” McMahon said.
At the end of the 2015-16 season, Langston averaged 30 minutes per game, 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds. He started the conference with several games in foul trouble. McMahon reviewed officials’ video and Langston corrected his fouls. In the game against UT Martin Saturday, Langston went the entire first half with zero fouls.
“He had a hard time getting on the floor,” McMahon said. “He just worked like crazy this offseason to put himself in the situation where he had an All-Conference type season. I’m really proud of him.”
A 6-4 forward from Madison, Alabama, Jeffery Moss played all four years of his career at Murray State.
In his first season, he played in 29 games averaging 21.4 minutes and 4.4 points. He had four double-doubles.
In his second year, Moss set his career high with 21 points against Brescia on Nov. 12, finishing with 577 points over two seasons.
In his junior year, Moss finished ranking 22 in the OVC with 11.2 points, and with 37 steals, was ranked second on the team for number of steals. Stepping onto the court for the final time, Moss is the 43rd member of the 1,000-Point Club and was honored by the late Bennie Purcell. Moss averaged his last season with 36.3 minutes per game and 14.5 points per game along with 4.2 rebounds. In his last game against UT Martin, Moss scored 33 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the 3-point line.
“When you invest your time into your craft, you’re going to get rewarded for that at the end of the day,” McMahon said. “And I think he’s worked relentlessly on his offensive game. He’s stepped up and been an outstanding defender for us this season so we’ve asked him to be second in the league in minutes played and he’s had to do it at both ends of the floor. You can make an argument that nobody’s had a more efficient OVC slate of the schedule.”
McMahon said one of the things he loves about coaching is the gift of watching someone invest their time into their sport and seeing the reward in the end.
“It’s very rewarding when you have a player who invests an incredible amount of time into becoming the best player they can be,” McMahon said.