Donovan lands recruit for 2009

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 2:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 2:17 p.m.

Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan has picked up his first commitment for the recruiting class of 2009.

It comes from 6-foot-10 forward Erik Murphy from St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass. Murphy, rated the No. 43 player in the nation by ESPN for the class of 2009, committed to the Gators on Wednesday, St. Mark's coach Dave Lubick said.

"His primary reason for doing it now is Florida is a great fit and it's a great program and he really feels comfortable with Coach Donovan," Lubick said. "Erik talked with his family and felt sure this is what he wanted.

"It wasn't a matter of pressure (from UF to commit). It's what Erik wanted all along. It sort of came together for him and his family."

Murphy is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game in his junior season. The son of former Boston College and NBA player Jay Murphy, he also has scholarship offers from Duke, Connecticut and many other top basketball schools from across the nation.

"He's a great combination of size and skill," Lubick said. "He runs very, very well. He can get up and down the floor fast and he can catch the ball well in transition. He's got a great combination of skill and power. He's shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range, which is pretty extraordinary for someone his size."

Lubick said Murphy had a recent growth spurt that has put him over 6-10. His father is 6-11. Lubick said the 220-pound Murphy has been working hard in the weight room to add some strength and bulk.

"He certainly can put on a lot more bulk," Lubick said. "He's a really good worker and he likes to be in the weight room now. He definitely can grow more. His dad says he (Jay) is 6-11, but he looks like he's (a 7-footer) to me. Erik could end up being a 7-footer."

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