The Gopher Men’s Front Court is in GOOD Hands for Years to Come

Gopher Men’s Basketball forward, Jordan Murphy, was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday. With Murphy winning the award last week, yesterday’s recognition meant back-to-back honors. Per StarTribune.com, this is the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY a Golden Gopher has accomplished this feat.

Congratulations Jordan! It must feel good to stand alone in Minnesota history. Someone contact the people at Guinnessworldrecords.com ASAP.

Only three other athletes in our program’s history have won the award twice in one season. Gophersports.com lists Kris Humphries, Joel Pryzbilla, and Quincy Lewis as the other talented two-time recipients. If Murphy won the first two weeks, you can reasonably expect him to win AT LEAST one more this season. Once that is accomplished, he’ll join Lewis as the only three-time recipients in one year.

Sports are like business. If you’re crushing, let your numbers do the talking. Talk to us, Jordan Murphy:

The San Antonio native has played out of his mind thus far. 3rd Team Big Ten last year must not have been enough. The Big Ten Player of the Week is averaging 24.8 PPG and 12.8 RPG, while shooting 61.4% from the floor. Murphy is on the fast track for 1st Team in 2017-2018. If he stays anywhere near these numbers, he’ll be a staple in the conferences POY conversations.

The Gophers Junior plays a hell of a lot bigger than you’d expect from his 6’6″ frame. That IS NOT a misprint. Both GopherSports.com and ESPN.com list Murphy at that size. Basketball players are notorious for adding a couple of inches to their actual height. It looks better when opponents and scouts are doing their research.

Are we doing the opposite here with Jordan Murphy? The young-man seems a lot taller than 6’6″ to me. Maybe he just plays like it.

At the end of the day, height is just a number. NBA scouts will pick it apart, but screw them. You know who else is 6’6″? Charles Barkley. An absolute rebounding machine at the pro-level. On the opposite side of this conversation is the 7’0″ Brook Lopez. As a starter last year in Brooklyn, he averaged 5.4 RPG. That’s an unacceptable number from a 28 year-old man with that kind of size. When it comes to rebounding, athleticism and tenacity trump height 7 days of the week.

Murphy never will be Charles Barkley. Barkley is a Top 50 All Time NBA Player. It’s just an example of size being overrated. Chuck is a national Treasure, so I like to bring him up whenever possible. If you’d prefer a different comparison, ask.

Let’s take a moment and appreciate what we have in Minnesota right now for big men (especially if you include KAT…but we’ll leave that for another article and another day… he won Western Conference Player of the Week last week..). It has literally NEVER been like this. Jordan is only one half of the best front court in the Big Ten. Murphy’s front-court teammate Reggie Lynch won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last year averaging 3.5 blocks per game. He’s averaging 5.5 so far this season…. Reggie’s eligibility runs out after this season. Even without his return, the future big men for the University are promising.

Richard Pitino has landed some big recruits already in his tenure, one of them being Minnesotan and current Sophomore, Amir Coffey. Some put his newly signed 2018 big man out of Cretin Derham Hall, Daniel Oturu, ahead of him in Pitino’s recruiting trophies since he’s been in Minnesota.

And Dan isn’t alone. Murphy will still have a year of eligibility left after this season, giving him one year with Oturu. Oturu would come in and start on most teams in the Big Ten but I doubt he will on this team. Let’s not forget about Eric Curry who was lost for the season to a devastating knee injury before the year could even get started. He will receive a medical redshirt and be just a Sophomore next year. If you’ve forgotten how good Curry was in his first year, let me refresh your memory. He played 20 MPG as a Freshman on a team that won 24 games.

And 2019 you ask??? How about another 6’9″ PF out of Minnesota? This one would be forever implanted in Pitino’s “Mount Rushmore” of recruits.

Minnesota is back in action tonight vs. Alabama A&M. As always, Go Gophers! Let’s make it 5-0. Do me a favor and cue the damn highlights:

Johnny Minnesota  @mnsportsnstuff & Boss-Man Eric @RealMNSportsFan
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com