Duke F Alex Murphy transfers to Florida

The Florida Gators have taken a big step toward solving the frontcourt dilemma the program was expected to face in 2014-15 by adding redshirt sophomore forward Alex Murphy as a transfer starting in the spring 2014 semester.

Murphy officially announced his decision on Wednesday.

“I really appreciate the experience at Duke, playing for a Hall of Fame coach in Mike Krzyzewski,” Murphy told ESPN.com. “I learned a lot as a player and a person.

“I’ve gotten a chance to know Coach [Billy] Donovan and the program. I think it’s a great fit for me to continue my career. I think they can help me develop as a player — and that I can help them a lot as well.”

As a midseason transfer, Murphy will still have to sit out an entire year under NCAA rules, missing this spring and next fall. He will be a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility remaining when he takes the court for the Gators in the spring of 2015 unless he received a waiver.

The brother of former Florida F Erik Murphy, Alex reclassified and joined Duke ahead of the 2011-12 season (in what otherwise would have been his senior year of high school) but took a redshirt during his first year of college.

He barely played last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 6.2 minutes per game and is seeing the same amount of action in 2013-14.

Murphy will play a much bigger role for Florida, which is losing at least three members of its frontcourt to graduation in seniors center Patric Young and forwards Casey Prather and Will Yeguete. The Gators are expected to be without redshirt junior C Damontre Harris, who is currently on the roster but not considered a member of the program, and freshman F Chris Walker, who is projected as a potential lottery selection and may declare for the 2014 NBA Draft at season’s end.

Continue Reading » Duke F Alex Murphy transfers to Florida

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FOUR BITS: bball, Cooper, Hernandez, Murphy

1 » Florida Gators rising senior center Patric Young has received plenty of attention over the last two offseasons by posting videos of strongman workouts with the team’s strength & conditioning staff. This year, Florida taped all of the players participating in the impressively difficult workouts and compiled their efforts in the video below.

2 » Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and running back Mike Gillislee are the first former Florida teammates to speak out in defense of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, who blurted out a racial slur at a concert that was caught on video and has since begun a – what appears to be quite sincere – apology tour. “I think Riley is a great guy,” Pouncey told FOX Sports Florida. “I think obviously he made a mistake. I just feel bad for him because he’s a good friend.” Pouncey also said he never had an inkling that Cooper would have those thoughts in his head and plans to lend his former teammate his support soon. “When the time’s right, I will,” he said. “But right now I know he’s going through a tough time and I just hope for nothing but the best for him.” Gillislee called Cooper a “great person” and someone that “doesn’t have a bad character.” He said he doesn’t think much of him making the comment and hopes people can move on from the unfortunate incident.

UPDATE: On Friday, Cooper was suspended from all team activities while he undergoes counseling. He released the following statement through the team:

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me. My actions were inexcusable. The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better.

“Right now, I think it’s important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation. The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I’ve done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time.

“During this time I’m going to be speaking with a variety of professionals to help me better understand how I could have done something that was so offensive, and how I can start the healing process for everyone. As long as it takes, and whatever I have to do, I’m going to try to make this right.”

Speaking of Cooper, here are some other links to stories, columns and videos relating to the situation. NFL.com: Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks | ESPN.com‘s Ashley Fox: Riley Cooper won’t be an Eagle for long | Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel: Most deserving of apology from Riley Cooper: the security guard doing his job

3 » Jailed former Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez professed his innocence for the first time…in a handwritten letter sent to a fan that wrote him a letter of support. TMZ obtained the letter, which includes a line at the end with Hernandez requesting it not be leaked to social media. “The world just makes things out of false accusations … and it will all die down, especially when they say NOT GUILTY,” Hernandez wrote in part. “All the people who turned on me will feel like crap. … [I] can’t wait to sign [autographs] again when I’m playing again [and] prove all the haters WRONG.”

4 » Chicago Bulls rookie Erik Murphy turned around his life and career in his final two seasons playing under head coach Billy Donovan at Florida, so much so that his much younger brother – 2017 forward Tomas Murphy – is seriously considering playing for the Gators…in four years. The younger Murphy was officially offered a scholarship by Florida this week, though he is likely quite a while away from making his decision. His brother Erik told OnlyGators.com last month that Tomas has UF and Duke (where his other brother, redshirt sophomore F Alex Murphy, is playing) ahead of the pack early in the process. Tomas also has offers from Boston College, Maryland and Rhode Island, among others. “He’s a monster,” a college coach told CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello. “At this stage, he’s better than both [his brothers].”

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