Alex Murphy

Florida forward out 4-6 weeks with foot injury

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Florida will be without senior forward Alex Murphy for the first few weeks of the season as the school announced he’ll be out 4-to-6 weeks with a foot injury.

The fifth-year senior has a partial tear to the plantar fascia of his right foot, an injury he suffered in the Gators’ exhibition win on Thursday night against Palm Beach Atlantic.

The injury likely puts Murphy out until at least December and could hold him out until SEC play begins. Without the experienced senior in the lineup, Florida could turn to junior DeVon Walker, sophomore Devin Robinson, junior Justin Leon. Two freshmen, Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone, could also get more minutes with Murphy being out.

As a junior, Murphy played in a little over 14 minutes per game and averaged 5.1 points and 2 rebounds per contest.

 

POSTERIZED: Florida’s Alex Murphy dunks all over Arkansas defender after breaking a press (VIDEO)

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Florida junior Alex Murphy was able to break the Arkansas press and throw down a ferocious dunk over a defender on Saturday.

This probably rates as Murphy’s best dunk since throwing down a poster dunk on Indiana’s Hanner Mosquera-Perea when the two were in high school playing at adidas Nations during the summer of 2010.

(H/T: OnlyGators)

Two players questionable for Florida’s game against Wake Forest

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Saturday’s matinee against Wake Forest could very well have Florida playing shorthanded once again.

The Gators are unsure if Eli Carter and transfer Alex Murphy will be available for the neutral site, non-conference matchup. Carter, who has missed four games this season due to injuries, is battling an illness. Murphy, the Duke transfer, is awaiting his eligibility status.

Carter has dealt with a sprained foot and is now being examined for strep throat, Florida head coach Billy Donovan told reporters on Thursday. The 6-foot-2 Carter has returned to the lineup for the last two games — wins over Texas Southern and Jacksonville — scoring a combined 11 points in 37 minutes of action. He’s averaging 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

“I feel bad for him,” Donovan said, via Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. “Personally it’s been hard. He’s never been able to quite get into that kind of rhythm that he had … in the Miami game.”

Murphy, who enrolled at Florida last spring, has to wait for his fall semester marks to be recorded, which could take until Saturday to be posted, according to Brockway.

“I’m remaining optimistic,” Donovan said. “There isn’t anything I’ve been told it’s definitely not happening, I haven’t been told it definitely is happening. Just trying to remain optimistic he’ll get an opportunity to play on Saturday.”

Florida meets Wake Forest at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida for a 5 p.m. tip.

The Ten Most Important Midseason Additions

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Markus Kennedy, SMU: He’s not a transfer — Kennedy missed the first semester as a result of academic issues — but if he gets the grades he needs, Kennedy will be joining the Mustang lineup on Saturday against Michigan. He will be the best big man in the AAC, but will it be too late to turn the conference into more than just a one-bid league?

Jameel McKay, Iowa State: McKay will be eligible this week for the Cyclones. He’s a shotblocking presence and a front court athlete unlike anything that Fred Hoiberg has had in Ames, but on a team that’s built on spacing and having shooters at every position on the floor, how much of an impact will he really have?

Luke Fischer, Marquette: The former Indiana big man will be eligible for Marquette tonight against Arizona State, which is important for the Golden Eagles. They are in dire need of front court help.

Alex Murphy, Florida: Murphy never could find a spot in the Duke lineup, which is why he transferred out of the program last winter. Florida is dealing with all kinds of health and depth issues, and Murphy’s addition will help that. They take on Wake Forest in Gainesville on Saturday.

Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman, Temple: Temple is just 6-4 on the season, but their back court depth will get quite a boost with the addition of Morgan (UMass) and Coleman (Clemson).

Trayvon Reed, Auburn: Reed began his Auburn career on Sunday, picking up four fouls in eight minutes. The 7-foot-1 top 100 recruit is talented and promising, but he’s still very much a prospect at this point. His impact this season will be minimal.

Eric McClellan, Gonzaga: McClellan will be eligible to play for the Zags on January 8th, and while adding a player that averaged 14.3 points in the SEC sounds, on paper, like a big addition, but there aren’t many minutes to be add in that perimeter. Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and Byron Wesley will get their 25-30 minutes, and Kyle Dranginis and Silas Melson will be the first two off the bench.

Savon Goodman, Arizona State: Goodman flamed out at UNLV after he was arrested for breaking into a friend’s apartment and stealing shoes, money and video games. He’ll be eligible at Arizona State beginning tonight. He’ll add perimeter depth, but it likely won’t be a difference-maker for the Sun Devils.

George Marshall, South Dakota State: Marshall played a season and a half at Wisconsin before Trae Jackson took over the starting point guard roll. He’ll be eligible at SDSU on Thursday and should step into the starting point guard role for a team that is 6-3 overall and could win the Summit League.

Cam Biedscheid, Jacksonville State?: There’s a question mark there for a reason. Biedscheid has been all over the place, leaving Notre Dame midway through the 2012-2013 season before getting shipped out at Missouri. He was supposed to be headed to Iona, but that never materialized. The latest? A report saying he’s headed to Jacksonville State and will try to get eligible for this season. Biedscheid is a former four-star recruit and will be one of the best players in the Ohio Valley if he ever ends up playing there.

Top 25 Countdown: No. 14 Florida Gators

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source: AP
AP Photo

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package. We continue our countdown today with No. 14 Florida.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | NBCSports Preseason Top 25 | Preview Schedule

Head Coach: Billy Donovan

Last Season: 36-3, 18-0 SEC (1st), lost in the Final Four to UConn

Key Losses: Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young, Casey Prather

Newcomers: Chris Chiozza, Devin Robinson, Alex Murphy (transfer), Zach Hodskins, John Egbunu (transfer*)

Projected Lineup

G: Kasey Hill, So.
G: Michael Frazier, Jr.
F: Dorian Finney-Smith, Sr.
F: Jon Horford, Sr.
C: Chris Walker, So.
Bench: Eli Carter, Jr.; Alex Murphy, Jr.; Devin Robinson, Fr.; Chris Chiozza, Fr.

They’ll be good because … : The Gators can trot out as much talent on a nightly basis as anyone in the country this side of Kentucky. Four players on the Gator roster are former five-star recruits, headlined by a pair of sophomores that were top ten players in the Class of 2013 in Kasey Hill and Chris Walker. That list also includes former Duke forward Alex Murphy and incoming freshman Devin Robinson, who may just be the best prospect on the roster.

source:
Michael Frazier (AP Photo)

That’s not the only reason to like the Gators, however, as their young talent is surrounded by a solid group of veteran role players. Michael Frazier is one of the best shooters in the country. Dorian Finney-Smith is a combo-forward that can act as a floor-spacer when his jumper is working. Eli Carter was a big-time scorer at Rutgers and Murphy spent two and a half seasons at Duke before leaving that program.

But they might disappoint because …: Outside of Frazier, there really aren’t many proven commodities on Florida. Walker’s name is near the top of most draft boards thanks to his height and athleticism, but he’s a rail-thin post player that has yet to prove that he can do anything on a basketball court other than run, jump and get suspended from games. Potential does not always equal production.

The same thing can be said about Hill, who has the physical gifts to be an excellent point guard at the college level. But being able to beat a defense end-to-end and being effective if Billy Donovan’s offense, which is loaded with ball-screens, is an entirely different story. Horford played limited minutes at Michigan. Carter was a gun-slinger on bad Rutgers teams and has spent the past 18 months trying to recover from a grizzly broken leg. Murphy couldn’t get off the bench at Duke. Devin Robinson and Chris Chiozza are highly-regarded freshmen, but freshmen nonetheless. South Florida transfer John Egbunu has not yet been given a waiver to play immediately by the NCAA.

In simpler terms, outside of Frazier, it’s hard to say definitively what Donovan and his staff can expect out of anyone on this roster.

Outlook: Billy Donovan is one of the best in the game. There’s a reason that he’s always being linked with NBA coaching vacancies. He’s been to three Elite 8s and a Final Four in the last four years. He won back-to-back titles. He knows what he’s doing, which is why Florida will get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the question marks associated with this group.

And, as I mentioned, there are plenty of question marks surrounding this group entering the 2014-2015 season. If everything breaks the right way — if Walker and Hill live up to their potential, if Devin Robinson is as good as advertised, if Murphy can recapture that ability that made Coach K recruit him — I think you’re looking at a team that can legitimately compete with Florida for the SEC regular season title. There’s that much talent on this roster and Donovan is that good of a head coach.

That said, I think Florida also has some flameout potential. I think the Gators are all-but a lock to make it back to the NCAA tournament, but I don’t think it’s out of the question for them to end up losing 10 games, bouncing in and out of the top 25, and entering the dance as a No. 7 seed.

Report: Duke redshirt sophomore forward Alex Murphy to transfer

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After playing just over six minutes per game as a redshirt freshman, Duke forward Alex Murphy saw the task of earning more minutes become even tougher in 2013-14. With Rodney Hood eligible after having to sit out a season per NCAA transfer rules and freshman Jabari Parker arriving on campus, there weren’t going to be too many opportunities to earn extended minutes.

With his playing time remaining the same (6.6 mpg) and having not played in four of Duke’s last five games, Murphy has reportedly decided to transfer at the end of the fall semester. Murphy’s played a total of 33 minutes this season, averaging one point one rebound per game.

Murphy’s most productive outing as a Blue Devil came in Duke’s 90-63 loss at Miami last January, as he scored 11 points (5-for-8 FG) and grabbed five rebounds. With Murphy out of the equation Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will have one less player to call on at the wing position, but given Murphy’s spot in the rotation prior to the decision there shouldn’t be much of a change for the Blue Devils moving forward.

Murphy was a highly-regarded prospect out of high school, and older brother Erik attended Florida for four seasons before being selected in the second round of this past summer’s NBA Draft. According to both 247Sports (Blue Devil Lair) and Scout.com, Florida is a possible destination for Alex.