Murphy could help Hawkeye basketball team
Andre Murphy's basketball future will eventually be decided. He either returns to the intramural ranks or is an Iowa Hawkeye.
While many fans are pulling for the 5-9 guard out of Chicago, the Iowa coaches will tell Murphy if he is officially a member of the Black and Gold.
Murphy said the staff told him the roster would be completed in mid-September.
As a new semester begins and Iowa athletics teams start up again, Murphy remains poised to try out and walk-on to the Iowa men's basketball team. Over the last four months, he has spoken briefly with both Hawkeye coaches and players at various points.
Although NCAA coaches are allowed to attend Prime Time League games — which Murphy played in this summer — it is usually for recruiting high-school and junior-college players. However, any information regarding a player may be relayed to head coach Fran McCaffery and his assistants, Prime Time Commissioner Randy Larson said.
That information, in Murphy's case, most likely details his quick bursts of speed down the court and an above-average jump shot — not to mention stingy defensive abilities.
"He didn't throw the ball all over the place; he was very organized," Larson said. "Yes, he did well on offense, but I was equally surprised by his defense. He can afford to be aggressive and pressure people because of his speed."
Larson notes that while the Big Ten is among the best in the country, and Murphy might not get significant minutes as an Iowa player, he can help out tremendously in other areas.
He said a combination of Murphy's shooting ability and pure athleticism are big pluses for him as the coaches make their decision.
"He can improve athleticism at practice by challenging the other guys," Larson said. "For the time being, he can certainly be utilized as a very good practice player."
Jason Price, a former Iowa basketball player himself and Prime Time teammate of Murphy's, thinks he can have an even larger role.
"I think he can add a lot to the team right away, just pushing Cully Payne and [Bryce] Cartwright," Price said. "He can give those guys a quality guard to compete against."
"I think he could get some minutes and give guys a breather here and there."
Despite the praise from Price and other basketball observers, Murphy remains grounded.
While many observers believed the Iowa coaching staff would make a decision after the Prime Time season concluded, Murphy is still going through the tryout process. Formality or not, he has no other choice than to be optimistic about his situation at this point.
No official tryout date had been set as of Tuesday afternoon.
"I'm working hard every day until the official word comes out," Murphy said. "I'm staying prepared for tryouts, and when that day comes I'm going to give it my all."
comments powered by Disqus