Will Trey Murphy attempt to play for Virginia this season?

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Trey Murphy III (Photo: riceowls.com)

With the start of the 2020-21 college basketball season scheduled to start in 18 days, Virginia fans are wondering if transfer Trey Murphy III, will attempt to play this season.

Murphy, who transferred from Rice University earlier this year, had originally planned to sit out this season, is rumored to be reconsidering.

We asked UVA associate head coach Jason Williford on Friday if he thought Murphy might play.

“We’re not expecting him to play, but that could change,” Williford said during an interview for Saturday morning’s “Jerry Ratcliffe Show,” on WINA radio and ESPN-Charlottesville.

Williford said that if Murphy decided to play this season, Virginia would have to file a waiver process in order for the junior to gain eligibility. During a season where the NCAA has given players an extra year of eligibility during the pandemic and have liberally cleared eligibility issues, some observers believe Murphy could be cleared.

The question is, would Murphy decide to play?

A 6-foot-8 junior, Murphy told us back in April that he would prefer to sit out a year to build his strength and learn UVA’s system.

He was impressed by Virginia strength and conditioning coach Mike Curtis and what he could do to help him improve his overall game.

“What I liked the most about [Curtis’] program is that he doesn’t just tell me to do something. He will educate me about it and tell me basically what I’m working on and how it will help me in my basketball game,” Murphy said. “I thought that was super, super important.”

Because Virginia is expected to be the preseason favorite to win the ACC and some observers believe the Cavaliers are in good position to make another run at the Final Four, Murphy could give UVA yet another weapon in its already strong arsenal.

Murphy said Tony Bennett told him during the recruiting process that he liked his versatility.

“Coach Bennett really liked me being a versatile big wing that can guard multiple positions as well as play multiple positions and come off pin downs, being able to score the ball in iso situations,” Murphy told JerryRatcliffe.com.

Murphy was one of only two players in the country last season, 6-8 or taller, who made at least 75 3-pointers and averaged at least five rebounds per game. He scored in double figures 25 times for Rice, including six 20-point games.

A native of Durham, N.C., said he has always been a fan of the ACC. It has been a dream to play in the conference.

“In elementary school and high school, at lunchtime and during class, teachers would show the [ACC Tournament] games,” Murphy said. “The ACC Tournament is a dream come true for me down the road. Being able to potentially be in that position is just great.”

Fans will have to wait until next week when the Cavaliers will hold media interviews for the first time this season. Perhaps then Murphy will reveal whether or not he intends to play this season.

Comments

  1. Clark Thomas says:

    Might be a good idea for him to activate this year, which still allows him to peak next year. Reason: Covid may take down one or more players during the season, and having Trey in back-up mode could fill a critical spot at a critical time..

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