Breaking down UVA’s big pickup: Trey Murphy III
Rice transfer Trey Murphy III announced Monday that he is transferring to still-defending national champ Virginia, where he will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2020-2021 season.
Murphy, on paper a 6’8” guard, averaged 13.7 points per game in 2019-2020 at Rice, shooting 36.8 percent from three and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line, a number that suggests he could be even better from three with better shot selection.
The Durham, N.C., native was an under-the-radar high-school recruit, not even getting a ranking from the major services before committing to Rice, after also getting looks from Campbell, Columbia and Yale.
Murphy was listed back then as a 6’4”, 165-pound prospect, so the extra height, length and pounds (he’s now listed at 200) make him intriguing with his shooting skills.
He seems at first glance to factor into a crowded backcourt situation at Virginia in 2021-2022. Coach Tony Bennett will have lost 6’5” wing Tomas Woldetensae by that time, but will still have Kody Stattmann (by then a senior), Casey Morsell (by then a junior) and two four-star signees in the Class of 2020, Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Carson McCorkle, competing for time at two and three, with the minutes at one split between Kihei Clark (a rising senior in 2021-2022) and incoming four-star recruit Reece Beekman.
That’s seven guys fighting for minutes at three slots, at least, again, on paper.
A deeper dive into the UVA roster for 2021-2022 would also have at four and five Francisco Caffaro and Justin McKoy (by then, juniors), and Kadin Shedrick (by then a sophomore).
None of the three slotted as bigs for 2021-2022 jumps out at you as being much more than screeners, which makes you think it possible, then, that you could also factor in Murphy as a stretch four, along the lines of recent diversely talented stretch fours De’Andre Hunter and Braxton Key.
That’s assuming Murphy can pick up the Pack-Line, which with a year of redshirting due to transfer rules he should have every opportunity to do running the scout team.
Story by Chris Graham
UVA Basketball Fans!
Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”
Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”
Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell