Gators in the NBA draft: Erik Murphy
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.
Name: Erik Murphy
Rounds 1-2: 7:30-11:30 p.m. Thursday, ESPN
Position: Power forward
Weight: 240 lbs.
Projected round: Second
Murphy led the Southeastern Conference in 3-point field goal percentage as a senior (45.3 percent, 72 of 159). He finished his senior season averaging 12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds with 25 blocked shots. Part of three Elite Eight teams in four seasons. A two-year starter with 67 career starts, Murphy has recorded three career double-doubles, including a 27-point, 12-rebound performance against LSU in the quarterfinals of the 2013 SEC Tournament. He went a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor in UF's 74-56 win over Wisconsin at the O'Connell Center last November.
Made 13 of 15 3-pointers during one impressive stretch in front of several NBA scouts at a pre-draft combine in Las Vegas. Wingspan measured 6-foot-10.5 inches at a NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago. Other NBA combine numbers included a max vertical leap of 29.5 inches, a time of 3.57 seconds in the three-quarter court sprint and 13 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press.
Exceptional perimeter shooter who is adept at stepping out and knocking down 3-pointers in a pick-and-roll offense. Also displayed a soft touch around the basket and the ability to post up during his senior season. High basketball IQ with strong athletic bloodlines — father, Jay, played four seasons in the NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Bullets), while younger brother Alex is a redshirt sophomore forward at Duke.
Has added some strength throughout his UF career, but needs to continue to get stronger to bang with physical power forwards in the NBA. Below-average lateral quickness, which compromises his defensive ability on the perimeter. Started his career as an adept passer, but regressed in that area in four years. His assist-to-turnover ratio as a senior was 50 to 51. Also needs to improve his rebounding. His projected 6.2 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes is considered below average for an NBA big man.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
“Stretch-fours (power forwards) are in vogue. He had a great workout in Vegas in front of a bunch of NBA teams. I was there. He shot the lights out. And he had a skill that translates. There's lots of things that Erik Murphy doesn't do well, but that one thing that he really does well, he really can shoot the basketball and you can see teams using him as a stretch-four that spots in the corners and just nails those corner 3s. He's going to be able to do that at the next level.” — Chad Ford, ESPN NBA draft analyst.
“He shot the ball incredibly well at the combine. You're talking about one of the best shooters in the country, let alone the best shooting big man. I think he's got even more upside than (former Gator and current San Antonio Spurs 3-point shooting specialist) Matt Bonner. He can be as mobile and as effective. Defensively, he's got to be able to show he can defend against bigger guys. He's going to have to gain experience going up against bigger, stronger power forwards.” — Ryan Blake, NBA director of scouting.
“Murphy's potential as a shooting specialist stretch-four should give him ample opportunities to hear his name called on draft night and/or find a home in the NBA, but given there isn't anything else he does at an above average level from an NBA perspective, he will likely need a little luck to find that niche. His steady improvement in college, the work he put in developing his body off the court, and his solid basketball IQ are all things that should help him, but maximizing his abilities as a defender and rebounder would definitely improve his chances at having a long career.” — Joe Treutlein, Draftexpress.com