MURRAY — The last few weeks, the Racers have seen what Devin Gilmore can do under the lights.
Gilmore recently found himself in the Murray State Racers’ rotation, and has been taking advantage of every second he’s been given.
The sophomore had only played 74 minutes of game action prior to the Racers’ contest against Tennessee State. But since then, he has proved he is very much deserving of the role.
“I’m really proud of him and I’m thrilled for him,” Murray State Head Coach Matt McMahon said. “He’s worked extremely hard in practice, and he really has been consistent on the practice floor. He plays with great energy. He’s really picked up a sense of urgency at both ends of the floor.”
Since earning a spot in the rotation, Gilmore has averaged 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.2 minute per game.
His most recent performance, he scored 12 points, four rebounds and also had three blocked shots in the Racers’ win over SIUE.
Gilmore said there are a number of things he is still getting used to now that he is playing a consistent role on the floor.
“I’ve gotten more used to the game and my feel for the game has increased a lot,” Gilmore said. “Me going from practicing and not really playing, to practicing hard and playing; I’ve seen a tremendous change.”
Gilmore’s success going from a player that doesn’t see the floor often to a consistent rotation player over the last five games is a product of McMahon’s “earn your role” mantra.
“He’s blessed as an elite athlete (and is) taking advantage and using his athletic tools to impact the game in a variety of ways,” McMahon said. “I think you see it with the offensive rebound put backs, he had multiple baskets the other night running the floor in transition, had an unbelievable block. (He) had two game-changing blocks in the game against Tennessee Tech, where he really bailed us out of a couple tough situations.
“It happens on different time lines for everybody. Some guys come in from day one like Ja (Morant), they’re a starter, they play 35 minutes a game the whole way. Then there are some guys, like a Wayne Langston several years ago that went until his senior year where he had an impact. You’ve got to stay committed to the process and just keep working, and learning, and getting better.”
Gilmore will have to continue to earn his time as the Racers prepare for Austin Peay on Thursday in Clarksville.