Former Duke forward Alex Murphy is going to following in his older brother’s footsteps.
On Tuesday night, following Providence’s 76-74 win over Yale, Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal reported that Murphy, a South Kingstown, R.I. native, had decided to join Florida, the same school his older brother Erik played four years for Billy Donovan, averaging 12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a senior, and is currently a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.
According to McNamara, Murphy had also considered Providence, Rhode Island and Northeastern.
Alex, the redshirt sophomore forward, announced his intent to transfer from Duke back on Dec. 5 at the end of the fall semester after averaging only 6.6 minutes per game, basically the same amount of time he saw last season as a freshman.
“I’ve gotten a chance to know Coach (Billy) Donovan and the program,” Murphy told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman on Wednesday morning. “I think it’s a great fit for me to continue my career. I think they can help me develop as a player — and that I can help them a lot as well.”
Florida was the favorite once he decided the transfer. The Gators had offered Murphy while he was in high school at the St. Mark’s School (Mass.) before he ultimately decided to reclassify and commit to the Blue Devils. Murphy have a better chance to for playing time in Gainesville, especially next season when Billy Donovan losses Patric Young and Casey Prather on the frontline.
Alex isn’t the last of the Murphy brothers. Tomas is a 6-foot-6 freshman at the Prout School (R.I.), last week in his first varsity game he poured in 26 points.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.