Looking Back: Isaiah Canaan

MurraySports.net

 

The Racers won the regular season OVC championship and beat Vanderbilt in the NCAA tournament. Canaan wound up averaging 10.4 points and shooting an astounding 48.2 percent from 3-point range. He was named to the All-OVC newcomer team, was named OVC Freshman of the Year, and was a CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-American.     

“Those awards meant a lot,” Canaan said. “To come in as a freshman and win all that  was a great honor. But it took a lot of hard work.”

The hype heading into Canaan's sophomore year was incredible. During the summer the Racers were media darlings and a wise-guy pick to crack the Top-25 and make a run in the NCAA tournament. But things didn't go as expected.

Murray State struggled early in the year and although they bounced back to win a second straight regular season crown they lost to Tennessee Tech in the OVC tournament.

Canaan led the team with 11.7 points per game and was a first team All-OVC selection. He hit a team best 40.3 percent of his 3-pointers but he was disappointed.

 "I think I forced the issue a little my sophomore year instead of letting the game come to me,” he said. “That's why I didn't shoot it as well. And I think as a team we took some things for granted. We were coming off of a great year and walking around like the big man on campus. We felt like no one could touch us.

“And everyone came at us with even more intensity. We were the hunted instead of the hunter. They were trying to kill us. And we slipped up here and there.”

At the end of the season Kennedy left to take the head job at Texas A & M.

“It was a shock to see him leave,” Canaan said. “But we knew he deserved it and he was moving on to a different chapter in his life. I got a few calls from various people including the athletic director, asking me what I thought. I knew coach Prohm was ready and that's what I told them. He works hard at whatever he does and it was just his time.

“With him taking over we knew we were in good hands. He knew us and he knew how to get the job done. He put a great staff together and we had a great year.”

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