Murphy working on low post for UF

Florida center Erik Murphy has worked on his game.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.

Erik Murphy proved in his first season as a starter that he was a dangerous threat on the perimeter.


Erik Murphy

Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 238
Favorite Movie: Goodfellas
Dwight Howard will do — for the Lakers this season: “He'll help him go the finals to the West Division, but I'm going with the (Oklahoma City) Thunder this year.”

The 6-foot-10 Murphy shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range, extending opposing defenses as a pick-and-pop power forward.

But Florida coach Billy Donovan said he thinks Murphy is capable of expanding his game on both ends of the floor.

“He has to do that for us,” Donovan said. “I think Erik's gotten stronger. He's made a nice jump from last year.”

Murphy has bulked up to 238 pounds (he was 218 as a freshman). That added strength should help Murphy round into a more effective defender, rebounder and low-post scorer.

“He cannot just be, for us, that guy that steps away from the basket and shoots it,” Donovan said. “I think he's proven himself to be able to do that pretty consistently. I think the next step for him is can he become a scorer from the perimeter and from the mid-post area or from the low post.

“He knows he needs to do that. I think offensively, we've got to try to put him in situations where we can get him the ball where he can do a little bit more of that.”

Murphy averaged 10.5 points and 4.6 rebounds. He played his best defense late in the season, holding Big East player of the year Jae Crowder to just 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting in UF's 68-58 Sweet 16 win over Marquette.

“I'm trying to carry that over as much as possible,” Murphy said. “That's something that I've always tried to get better at, rebounding and banging down low. I feel like I'm doing well there right now.”

One thing Murphy isn't worried about is losing his shooting touch.

“I always feel I shoot the ball decently well,” Murphy said. “I don't really pay attention to how many shots I take and how many shots I make, in practice especially. We're just trying to prepare ourselves for games.”

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