NCAA Basketball

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.