Is Alex Murphy Joining Duke A Good Thing? No.

Alex Murphy has decided to enroll at Duke a year early.

But is it the right move? I don’t think so.

Instead of becoming a Blue Devil for the 2012-13 season, he joins Austin Rivers, Michael Gbinije, Marshall Plumlee and Quinn Cook as part of the 2011-12 incoming class.

The 6-foot-8 small forward has been called a ‘clone’ of Kyle Singler and will look slide into starting rotation in his place, but will he be able to carve out enough minutes?

Murphy is going to have plenty of competition to get into the starting lineup as next years Duke’s team looks even deeper than this past year. Is his decision to join the team actually good for Duke? How much playing time is going to be available for him?

At the point, Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton will split all the minutes, as the only two point guards on the roster.

The two and three positions will be filled by Austin Rivers, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins, who should command about 70-75 minutes at the 2 and 3.

On the inside, Ryan Kelly, Mason & Miles Plumlee will each get 20-25 minutes, as Coach K prefers to play guys who know the system and their roles over younger, untested, undersized players.

That leaves about 20 minutes per game for everyone else on the team. Rising sophomore Josh Hairston should see an increase over his six minutes a game. Then, there are the other freshmen, Michael Gbinije and Marshall Plumlee, both of who should see some time on the floor because of their unique talents. Marshall as a true center and Gbinije as Duke’s only swing player.

I think Murphy would have done himself -and the Blue Devils- better by remaining part of the 2012-13 class, as, by then, the inside would be less crowded. Miles will graduate, Mason will probably leave after his junior season, that would leave Kelly and Marshall Plumlee inside. Murphy would have a better chance of getting bigger minutes next season, as opposed to this season.

With him entering Duke, its just going to clog things up in the rotation. Although the team could be 11 deep, Coach K has never played that many. By the end of the season he is usually down to 8 or 9.  That will mean someone, maybe even two someones, will not see as much time as they expect, so don’t be surprised if someone transfers before the end of the season, say around mid-January after the first two weeks of ACC play.

As much as having another talented player on the team is a good thing, sometimes having too much talent can be a bad thing if it forces people onto the bench, or to another school.

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  • Patrick

    This is dumb reasoning. If you would have mentioned that now we might lose Deandre Daniels then yes maybe I would agree, but other than that there is no argument. A kid who is still a top 50 player a year early and you wouldn’t want him why? He gives us a shot at having a true small forward with size and athleticism and may be one of the few that can guard guys like Harrison Barnes. If he ends up being good enough to steal minutes away from a guy who chooses to transfer then so be it, alls that means is the better player is on the floor. We were gonna have log jams anyways even if Murphy didn’t come a year early so your point is completely moot…

    • ted.swedalla

      I also make the point that he will be undersized and not as strong as he will need to be to stand up to ACC play at the small forward position. Another year of seasoning would help him out.

  • Cmon

    There’s a good likelihood Murphy will redshirt (he could burn the redshirt if there’s an injury crisis and help out). Much better to practice for a year at Duke and really learn the system than play high school ball for that year. Not to mention being a Duke student is an absolute blast.

    • ted.swedalla

      Murphy taking a red shirt would be the best of both worlds. He would get to practice and train with the Blue Devils, get stronger and learn Coach Ks offense and defense.

  • Sanbodukie

    Opinions are like A…………. Everybody has one.
    Let the coach decide X&O’s and yes we want all the toys, Andre Daniels Come on down.

  • Tommy

    It’s not the game time minutes thats important, its getting to have a practice where 5 great players guard 5 other great players. iron sharpens iron

    • ted.swedalla

      I’m pretty sure that kids come to Duke for the game time minutes, not the practice minutes. They want their talents on display for the scouts in the stands, not the janitors in the gym.
      Ask any of them the question, ‘did you come to Duke to play on the big stage on TV 30 times a season, or did you come to practice against other great college plpayers?’
      We all know what the answer will be.

  • Tom

    I think it’s great that he comes. He seems like he is as physically ready as any freshman is prior to that first season. I’m pretty sure he is about the same size as Singler was his frosh year since you are mentioning him as a clone. Also the same size and approximate incoming rank among his class as Hairston was. Who knows what the year brings? There could be injuries, other players not playing up to their abilities, etc. Despite the hype of the incoming class (i.e. Rivers), I believe they have some questions as to who will truly step up to be “the man”. At least they will have an abundant amount of resources to try figuring it out.