MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Aaric Murray is not ready to be judged for the way he's played in his first five games for West Virginia.
That's because he plans to improve.
"On a scale from 1 to 10," said the 6-foot-10 center, who transferred last year from La Salle, "I'm a 6."
That's still good for 10.2 points and seven rebounds per game and a 55 percent field goal percentage, with the latter two leading the team. His most recent game was his best as he had 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in Wednesday's victory against VMI.
That, he said, was what a 6 looks like.
"I feel as though if I was in shape, I'd have 15 rebounds and five blocks every game," he said. "The offense is coming and I feel like I'll be able to get 15 rebounds and five blocks, and if one of my guards gets beat by his guard, I can give help more and talk more. It's hard to do that stuff, to lead, when you're just trying to breathe."
Murray has been around long enough to understand what WVU Coach Bob Huggins wants to do on offense and how Huggins wants Murray to play on defense.
He just can't do it yet. Murray broke his right hand last year and hardly practiced with the Mountaineers.
His abilities haven't quite caught up with his potential.
That's been further slowed by his conditioning. His inactivity last season was followed by back problems over the summer that prevented him from starting the preseason in shape.
"I need to work on my stamina so I can be consistent every play," he said. "If coach needs me to be in there, I need to be able to stay in there and not need oxygen, not need a mask to breathe."
Murray, a 245-pound junior who had the second-most blocks in a career (143) and a single season (73) at La Salle, said he need just a few more games to find his form. That starts with Wednesday's Capital Classic against Marshall.
The Mountaineers (2-3) and the Thundering Herd (5-3) play at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center, and the game will be televised by the Capital Classic Network on stations in Charleston (WOWK), Clarksburg (WBOY), Wheeling (WTRF), Parkersburg (WTAP) and Chambersburg, Pa. (WJAL).
"It's just body fatigue," Murray said. "It's getting up and down the floor fast. I haven't done that in a while."