With the regular season in the books and tournament season right around the corner, The Blue Zone will review the seasons of all the Blue Devils, beginning with the freshman Tuesday and ending with the seniors Thursday.
- Year: Redshirt Freshman
- Height: 6-8
- Position: Small Forward
- This year's stat line: 2.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 0.0 APG
- The Blue Zone's projected stat line: 8.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.0 APG
Season breakdown: Boy did we miss the boat with this one. Murphy was rumored to be a starter for this team before the season started. In fact, he started in the exhibition games. However, when opening night came around Murphy was nowhere to be found. Not only did he not start, he didn't leave the bench. The rest is history. Murphy has been buried on the bench behind Amile Jefferson and has only seen meaningful minutes in a handful of games, usually due to injury. When on the court Murphy has looked passive on offense for the most part. Perhaps his 23.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc has made him gun-shy. What Murphy did bring to the court this season was intensity. Number 12 was frequently chasing after loose balls and giving 110 percent on defense.
Role for the rest of the season: Very, very minor. Don't expect to see very much of Murphy in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments this season. His contribution will be playing a minute or two to prevent a rotation player from picking up an extra foul before halftime. If Murphy is getting extended playing time, either Duke is cruising to an easy victory, or the team going through foul trouble. Especially with Kelly back, most of the reserve forward minutes are split among Josh Hairston and Amile Jefferson. Murphy provides something they don't—a perimeter presence—but there are only a few situations it's easy to see him playing in.
Results relative to expectations: Murphy came nowhere near expectations. To be fair, expectations for the redshirt freshman were lofty and should have been toned down even before he received a DNP-CD on opening day. Most disheartening about Murphy's season was his performance from beyond the arc. Expected to stretch the defense much in the way Ryan Kelly does, Murphy hit just five of his 23 attempts from long-range. With much of Duke's scoring graduating this season when Kelly, Mason Plumlee, and Seth Curry take their talents to the NBA, Murphy could finally get his chance to make a difference in the Duke rotation in 2013-2014.
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