MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Aaric Murray leads West Virginia in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and blocked shots.
He also tops the team in technical fouls. He's been benched for the first half of one game and left on campus for another game against a top-five team.
In short, he's met most of the expectations for his first season with the Mountaineers.
Murray is a talented player, sometimes devoid of effort, other times awash with emotion and frequently in possession of the ire of his head coach, who has come to understand Murray is not easily understood.
"Here's what I can answer," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "Have I taken some of the ignorant stuff he's done personally because I know that? I don't know what he thinks."
Though there was never a clear declaration of such intent, many thought and still do think Murray is using WVU as a catalyst to a professional career. It's been attached to him since he transferred here in the summer of 2011 after two seasons at La Salle. He was supposed to sit out and fit in, flourish under Huggins and make it to the NBA.
A lot of people put it out there that it would happen fast, that the 2012-13 season would be his only in a WVU uniform and he'd skip out on his senior season.
It was just never going to happen so quickly or so easily for Murray.
That's not a slight, but rather an observation about a person who has stuttered in the past, about a player possibly peaking at the end of the season, his first in action after sitting out last season and rehabilitating a broken hand that kept him out of practice.
"It's yet to be determined," said Huggins, who was one of the people who logically presumed Murray would graduate in the spring and take a look at the NBA.
Murray's future can be so bright, so long as he does again in Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game at Texas Tech (9-9, 2-5 Big 12) what he's done of late. Murray had 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots against No. 2 Kansas on Monday.
He had a double-double two days before that against Oklahoma State.
He was not as good, almost no good at all, before that. But he's actually stood his tallest after the voices against him rose to be their loudest. Yet these are not new things to happen to or to be said about Murray, who turns 24 in July.
When he left La Salle - where the coaches harped on him about effort and consistency and he was benched for one game and sent to the end of the bench during another - the head coach said he didn't think Murray much liked basketball.