blue ridge bank

Scattershooting: Trey Murphy … should he stay or should he go?

By Jerry Ratcliffe

trey murphy iii

Trey Murphy III. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Scattershooting around the ACC, while wondering if signing Igor Milicic Jr. to a letter of intent is a clear sign that Tony Bennett doesn’t expect Trey Murphy III to return …

No one can blame Murphy for jumping in the NBA Draft if he really is a late first-round draft choice, but is he? There are plenty of mock drafts and some of those boards like Murphy because he has a smooth shot, terrific on the catch-and-shoot, and can play some defense as a wing.

Some have him possibly as a late first-rounder, some mid second-rounder, and some don’t have him drafted at all.

There’s an argument for coming back to Virginia for another year of seasoning under Bennett and strength-and-conditioning coach Mike Curtis. After all, that was Murphy’s main reasons for transferring from Rice to UVA, to build his body and hone his game. Originally, Murphy told me he wanted to redshirt this past season, but with the Covid allowances, he jumped in knowing he wouldn’t lose a year of eligibility if he played.

At times he was terrific. At times he kind of disappeared, even to the point that his great mom, Albeda Murphy, offered up her assessment of his game: “you suck,” she said. We all chuckled at that one, and Albeda thanked me later for going easy on her because her real assessment was a little more blue.

A couple of guys I know who played in the NBA and have watched Murphy play, don’t think he’s ready yet, and could use another year of college player to make him more attractive to NBA teams. They point out that De’Andre Hunter, who was in UVA’s program for four years (redshirted his first), makes $7 million a year, and that Ty Jerome is at $2.3 (suggesting that perhaps his would have been higher had he remained a year), and that Kyle Guy, who some insiders insist Bennett suggested he come back for his senior season, signed a two-way deal for $79,000 a year and is now making $449,000 and change in his third year.

Would another year of seasoning make Murphy a sure first-round choice and put a lot more money in his pocket? Many believe that’s the case.

Players who have entered their name into the Draft have until July 7 (10 days after the NBA Combine) to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

If Murphy stays in the draft, then all eyes will turn to Milicic, who at 6-9, 215, will work toward filling those shoes. Our spies say that Milicic is going to need a little work in terms of Curtis building his body for ACC warfare.

Stay tuned …

Yes, an 8th Grader

We intrigued you over the weekend with the report that Virginia football offered Liberty Christian Academy running back Gideon Davidson. He’s in the 8th grade. That’s not a typo.

We found out Monday that followers of Liberty’s junior varsity team, which he played for this season, have already put a nickname on Gideon: “Gid the Kid.”

Gideon’s brother, Caleb, is in the 10th grade and was a first-team running back for the Seminole District. Caleb and Gideon will get to play together for two years next season in the same LCA backfield, of which one coach has already started calling them “Thunder and Lightning.”

Their older brother, Josh, was a three-sport athlete at LCA and is playing football at Indiana Wesleyan as a senior this fall.

For more on “Gid the Kid,” see the related article on this site.

Around the Coastal

  • Georgia Tech’s big man, Moses Wright, who somehow was voted ACC Player of the Year (and I still can’t figure that one out), has entered the NBA Draft, but said he would not have a problem returning to the Yellow Jackets if his NBA prospects don’t look good.
  • Miami running back Robert Burns, who fell to fourth on the Hurricanes’ depth chart, has transferred to UConn. All three backs ahead of his last season are returning.
  • Virginia Tech has lost out on South Florida transfer, 7-footer Michael Durr. Durr said in early April that he intended to transfer to the Hokies, but he announced Monday that he was backing out and remaining in the transfer portal.
  • Pitt basketball coach Jeff Capel may see the heat turned up on him next season if he can’t find a way to bring in some more talent between now and November. Pitt was bummed this weekend when 6-11 Efton Reid announced he was commiting to LSU. Capel is entering the fourth year of his contract, and granted he took over a horrid program, but has managed to only go 15-38 in the ACC (.238 percentage).
  • Former Virginia guard Anthony Solomon, who teammates and coaches affectionally called “Slo,” is headed back to Notre Dame for a third stint as an assistant to Mike Brey. Solomon, 56, has been at Georgetown the past few seasons. Interesting note that none of Brey’s teams _ without Solomon on the staff _ have made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament. With Solomon, his teams have made it past the second round.
  • Down in Chapel Hill, Mack Brown is trying to figure out who the backup will be to starter Sam Howell. Brown believes this will be Howell’s last season at UNC because the NFL will be beckoning. He doesn’t want to wait until next spring to try to break in Howell’s replacement between Jacolby Criswell and Drake Maye. There’s no frontrunner coming out of spring drills.
  • Also at Carolina, linebacker Khadry Jackson and defensive back Welton Spottsville have announced they’ve left the Tar Heels program. UNC also lost receiver Ray Rose over a month ago to the portal and defensive back Patrice Rene has transferred to Rutgers.
  • Would have liked to have seen the faces of those in the Georgia Tech football weightroom when actor Jamie Foxx visited last week. Foxx, who is in Atlanta filming a movie, was looking for a place to work out and got an invitation to Tech by a former football player. Jackets coach Geoff Collins blew Foxx’s cover when he tweeted out a video of the 53-year-old Foxx throwing a 47-yard pass into the end zone. Some of you will remember Foxx playing the role of a quarterback in the 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday.” Was that really 22 years ago? Yikes.

My opinion, UVA softball needs a change

Nothing personal against UVA softball coach Joanna Hardin, who I find to be a very nice person, but there needs to be a changing of the guard.

In five seasons, her teams have gone 30-85 against ACC competition, and 81-149 overall. This season the team finished 12th in the 13-team ACC with a 10-27 record in the league, 15-33 overall. The Cavaliers lost their last five games in a row.

Hardin, I’m told by insiders, predicted that her team would win the ACC Tournament.

Virginia has lost 16 in a row to rival Virginia Tech and lost its last eight in a row to the Hokies by a combined score of 49-1.

Just seems that Virginia, with its really nice facilities, should be able to do better.

Quick hitters

  • Mamadi Diakite, the former Wahoo in his rookie season with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, has returned to the golden dome hair color that he wore his last two years at UVA. It’s kinda blonde and easy to spot in a crowd. His fan, Anna Shick, describes him as “Peachy Head.”
  • The Green Bay Packers are hosting former Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert this weekend as part of a rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Benkert was released by the Falcons, which means Atlanta had two former UVA QBs on its roster, and now none after Matt Schaub decided to retire.
  • Steelers fans will remember Pittsburgh hall of fame lineman Alan Faneca, who played most of his 13-year NFL career in the Steel City. Well, Faneca, who played at LSU, is now the new head football coach at Frank Cox High School in Virginia Beach.
  • Virginia football has also offered 9th grader Kasean Henderson from Hopewell. Kasean comes from good stock. His brother Ronnie Walker Jr., is a running back for Virginia, and his other brother Treveon Henderson was the state’s first- or second-best prospect, depending on which poll you liked, and has signed as a running back with Ohio State.
  • Make sure you tune into our new series of podcasts, hosted by yours truly and Chris Graham of the Augusta Free Press. You can find them on this site and on Chris’ Augusta Free Press site as well.

We’re getting tons of listens and great comments. We’ve had great guests as well with Ralph Sampson, Ricky Stokes, Barry Parkhill, Ohio U. basketball coach Jeff Boals, UVA’s two transfer basketball recruits Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin, Marques Hagans, and a ton of UVA doctors who breakdown sports injuries.

Chris and I also post podcasts about various UVA topics and give you inside information.

We have some great guests lined up starting this week, so give us a listen.

As usual, if your business would like to advertise on this website or on the podcast (or both), we have great rates and would love to talk to you. Email me at: jratcliffe7000@gmail.com

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