Canaan bypasses NBA for Murray State run
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
When asked a surprising question on if he thinks he’s the best point guard in the country, Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan hesitated uncomfortably.
“I mean, I don’t know,” he said, trying his best to be humble.
Then he decided to be truthful.
“Nah, I’m not going to lie. If someone asks me that, I’ll be real. Yes, absolutely,” he said.
“I don’t like to toot my own horn, but honestly, I do feel that way, I think I’m the best. Physically, I know I’m stronger than most point guards. I’ve been around longer than most, I don’t back down from nobody. It’d be hard for me to say I’m not the best point guard in the country.”
Don’t expect Canaan’s coach to argue.
“At the end of the game, I’d put my money on Isaiah,” second-year Murray State coach Steve Prohm said. “Knowing we have him, it gives us a chance to win every night.”
Expectations are high for the small mid-major powerhouse Murray State has become after winning the last three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular season titles and jumping into the top-25 equation last year.
Prohm concedes the key ingredient has always been Canaan, who’s been a major catalyst to the program since his freshman season when Murray State barely lost to national runner-up Butler in the second round of the 2010 NCAA tournament.
“Isaiah is just a special basketball player,” Prohm said. “He’s going to leave Murray State as one of the school’s best players. He might be the best.”
As a junior, Cannan led the Racers to a school-record 31 wins, which included winning the first 23 games of last season. Canaan averaged 19 points and 3.6 assists a game while shooting 45.6 from 3-point range.
After an All-American campaign, Murray State almost lost Canaan when the 6-foot senior tested his chances in the NBA this past summer. Ultimately, despite being projected in the second round of the draft, he decided he had some unfinished business in his senior season.
“It was tough,” Cannan said of his decision to return for a fourth season. “To be so close to … [For more on Canaan bypasses NBA for one more run at Murray State, click here.]