Murphy was perfect from the free throw line (2-of-2), perfect from three (2-of-2) and perfect from the field (10-of-10) overall in the Gators’ win. The 6-foot-10 Rhode Island-native finished with 24 points in the win, while also securing seven rebounds.
The Badgers and head coach Bo Ryan are well-known for their ability to defend, but Wisconsin had no answer for the stretch forward who can be a match-up nightmare when he is on. Tuesday night proved that ability.
While the Gators’ were heavily reliable on their guard play a season ago, Florida presents a more balanced squad in 2012-13. Murphy and junior forwards Patric Young and Will Yeguete give head coach Billy Donovan a dangerous front line that gives the Gators a much more spread out attack this season.
That balance and potential was on display in Florida’s victory over Wisconsin and that’s mainly due to Murphy’s performance. While his production on Tuesday cannot be relied upon each and every night, the “X-Factor-like” potential could be crucial for the Gators as the season continues.
When others step up for the Gators, especially offensively, the pressure is released from star guard Kenny Boynton, who is expected to lead the team in scoring again this season. Boynton added ten points on Tuesday following a 22-point outing in the team’s season opener.
Through two games this season, Murphy is averaging a team-high 19.5 points per game for a Gators squad that now sits at 2-0.
Florida will now prepare for an intriguing non-conference tilt against Middle Tennessee State. The Gators and Blue Raiders will meet on Sunday from Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse