After Consulting w/NBA’s UAC, it’s Back to School for Gopher Senior Jordan Murphy
The Gophers Men’s basketball team closed last season’s Big Ten play with an overall record of 4-14. If the Maroon and Gold would have let one of those precious victories slip away, the program’s total number of inner conference defeats would have matched their Big Ten AP preseason ranking…
Annnnnnd that’s a wrap for the 2017-18 Gophers hoopsters. From preseason top-15 hype to missing the NIT.
— Phil Mackey (@PhilMackey) March 1, 2018
The 2017-18 campaign, both on and (especially) off the court, was
bad a shit show.
Unfortunately, the few bright spots produced throughout the nearly four-month stretch fell grossly short of reaching quota. Nonetheless, that minuscule amount of manufactured light had one glaring beam noticeably shining through. What’s that shimmer, you ask? It’s Junior forward, Jordan Murphy.
Gopher basketball’s Jordan Murphy is the first player to earn Big Ten Player of the Week in three straight weeks since Evan Turner in November 2009.
— Nate Wells (@gopherstate) November 27, 2017
After similar production as a Freshman and Sophomore, averaging over 11 points and almost 8-9 rebounds per game, the 6’7″ San Antonio native’s game progressed leaps and bounds as he jumped to his Junior season. Murphy reiterated to society that the third time is absolutely the charm:
The double-double machine is currently preparing for his fourth and final collegiate season. But Murphy’s return, for what we hope will be an improved Minnesota squad, wasn’t such a sure thing, apparently.
— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) May 8, 2018
Per Marcus Fuller’s Star Tribune article, the big man with NBA aspirations’, enjoyed an offseason that included mingling with minds associated with “The Association”. The reigning Big Ten rebounding champion decided to take his talents to the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee (“UAC”).
Formed in 1997, the UAC “consists of nearly two dozen NBA personnel who speculate on where players could be drafted, if at all.” After going back-and-forth with that group, the someday (hopefully) pro-athlete made his decision:
This excerpt from NBA.com’s interview with the league’s Vice President of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe provides better insight into how the UAC actually works:
Sidebar: Knowledge is power.
When it comes to an appropriate reaction to Murphy’s calculated approach, I feel like Richard Pitino hit the nail on the head:
While some may have tunnel vision on the Maroon and Gold’s best interests, Minnesota’s head coach expressed that Jordan Murphy has “got to consider everything.” I’m not sure about you, but my interpretation of Pitino’s message is that he’s basically telling Jordan Murphy to stay woke.
With the way Murphy explored some non-bias, educated guidance, he seems to be properly caffeinated. Despite the details of the UAC sessions remaining private, it’s evident that the biggest questions surrounding the big man’s potential leap to the NBA, revolve around his size as a power-forward and his ability to shoot the rock from mid-range and beyond. The latter will be crucial to both his 2019 draft stock and the Gopher’s success in 2018.
Moving forward, regardless of how much attention the second-team All-Big Ten honoree decides to dedicate to his shooting stroke (for everyone’s sake hopefully that’s a lot of time), his main focus will now be on Minnesota’s 2018-19 campaign.
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) May 8, 2018
For Murphy, as expressed in our above referenced piece, it’s the “on to the next one” mentality. Thankfully, his particular “next one” will take place while he wears the Maroon and Gold.