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Erik Murphy

Erik Murphy

 

Florida Gators                       Senior                                                Power Forward                           #33

 

6' 10"  238 Pounds                      22 Years Old                               From: South Kingstown, RI

 

 

 

Overview: Murphy is a senior leader for one of the top college basketball teams in the country. The Florida Gators are so hard to guard defensively, due in large part to Murphy, an elite stretch power forward. Murphy has improved himself in each of his 4 years under Billy Donovan and has turned himself into one of the better players in the country. Due to his ability to stretch the floor as a power forward, he will likely garner many comparisons near draft time to either Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets or Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, a former Florida Gator. Murphy has improved his strength and his mobility to make himself more of an offensive threat than just a catch, or spot up shooter. He is a high IQ player that continually makes the smart, often simple, play for the Gators which can help settle the team when things begin to get tough.

 

Murphy's greatest offensive asset is his jumpshot. He has range past the three point arc and because of this, coupled with his size, he is a very tough matchup. Murphy's shooting will draw his defender away from the hoop to cover him. Coming into college, scouts were concerned with the slow release on his jump shot and worried he'd have trouble getting his shot off. Murphy has improved that facet of his game and can release his jumper quickly which allows him to score even if there's a hand in his face. On the catch, if he's defender by a bigger, slower defender, he can make a quick move to get to the hoop off the dribble. Murphy has a nice spin move from the top of the key which can get him a closer look at the hoop or draw a help defender and dish to a teammate. Murphy is a good player without the ball on offense as well, which increases his value further than if he were simply a spit up shooter. He cuts well without the ball and forces his defender to follow him tightly, spreading out a defense. Murphy can use his size effectively as a screener on a high pick situation. His shooting ability can draw defensive attention to him, freeing up his guard to make a move to the hoop. Murphy is not a great offensive post player, however, if matched up with a smaller defender, he can make a quick move and score around the hoop. He has greatly improved his ball handling skills and while they're not great by any stretch of the imagination, he can begin to get by defenders if they close out too far on him, due to his shotmaking abilities.

 

Defensively, Murphy has some work to do. He is not terribly strong or quick for his position. He is willing to bang in the post and try to keep his matchup from establishing great position on him, but can often find himself overpowered. He is not a shot blocking presence and doesn't rebound very well for his size. Although his rebounding totals are low, he is not a lazy rebounder. Whenever the opposing team's shot goes up, he immediately looks for a man to put his body on and box out away from the hoop. His rebound totals are low, but his instincts are good. When defending off ball, he is almost always in the paint, regardless of where his matchup is standing; this could become a problem in the NBA, where defensive 3 seconds is called. While he has physical limitations in terms of strength and quickness, he can hide most of them with his good positioning and defensive discipline. He's willing to rotate and take a charge when his guards are beaten off the dribble and he consistently stays between his man and the basket. He may never be a great individual defender at the NBA level, but he can certainly contribute to a good team defensive scheme given his discipline and awareness.

 

 Overall, Murphy is going to catch on with an NBA team. His jumpshot already makes him an asset at the pro level; his defenders will have to honor his jumper or risk being torched. Like Matt Bonner, he is a high IQ player who can play within an overall team system and will not try to play above his capabilities. He's improved his game every year and due to his jumpshooting and his ability to make simple moves with the ball to the hoop, he will find ways to help a team. Defensively, he is a smart player who won't hurt a team with undisciplined play and won't find himself out of position. However, his athletic limitations bring about legitimate concern as to whether he can defend NBA caliber players in the post or away from the hoop. That said, as a stretch four, he will have a role in the NBA at least as a shooter off the bench. If he were to bulk up and get better both offensively and defensively in the post, he could become more than just a great role player in the league. Murphy is a high floor, low ceiling prospect.

 

 

 

Key Stengths:

 

·      Murphy's best strength is his ability to shoot the ball. He has legitimate NBA range and due to his size, he will likely draw a big man away from the basket in order to open up the floor for some of his teammates.

 

·      Murphy has been an extremely intelligent player, a hard worker, and a great leader for the Gators over his four years in college. Given his improvement in each of his four seasons, it is likely that he will be able to mesh easily in any locker room with a culture of hard work.

 

·      While he's not a terrific ball hander, he can make quick, simple moves to get to the hoop when defenses start to overplay him because of his jumpshot. He has a smooth spin move from the top of the key.

 

·      Murphy moves very well without the ball; he is a willing screener and cutter. Again, his jumper makes defenses overplay him and he does a great job of cutting backdoor when his defender plays him very aggressively.

 

·      On defense, he stays between his man and the basket and doesn't gamble. He doesn't make any highlight defensive plays but doesn't often get burnt either.

 

Areas to Improve:

 

·      He would greatly benefit from bulking up. Murphy could be a better player in the post, both offensively and defensively if he got stronger and could battle more effectively for space near the blocks.

 

·      He is already a solid team defender, but increased quickness would really enhance his ability to make sure he can stay in front of his matchup if drawn away from the hoop.

 

·      He may have a tough time truly improving it, but his overall lack of athleticism will leave him exposed on defense against certain players in the NBA. He has legitimate size but either increased strength or athleticism, if not both, could help him matchup better in the league.