Alex Murphy left high school a year early to play for Duke. He then sat out an entire season before finally being eligible to step on the floor this season so would you blame him for being miffed about sitting for more than 30 of every 40 minutes of basketball?
I wouldn’t, but Murphy is apparently still feeling good about his ability to contribute to this team and on Friday he finally had some things to say about the situation.
“I feel good,” Murphy said after the Ohio State game, according to the Fayetteville Observer. “As a team, which comes first, we’re doing really well. We’re as good as we can be right now as a team, and that always makes things better. Obviously, personally, it’s tough not being on the court, but that’s on me to earn minutes. That’s something I continue to work at every day.”
Murphy has posted negligible stats in even-more negligible minutes through the Blue Devils first six games. A starter for both preseason games, it has become apparent that it was Murphy — not fellow first-year player Rasheed Sulaimon — benefiting from Seth Curry‘s leg injury.
With Curry now performing and healthy, Murphy’s position on the wing is less of a priority as Mike Krzyzewski has exactly what he wants on the perimeter: two shooting guards. Murphy resembles Kyle Singler, something Coach K has said makes Murphy an attractive player, but so does Ryan Kelly and Kelly is the better option at this juncture.
Murphy believes that with some better mental conditioning, he can get himself back out on the court for longer stretches.
“The biggest thing with me is confidence in myself and confidence in my own ability,” Murphy said. “That’s one thing, for whatever reason, that’s been up and down for me, the biggest thing I’ve struggled with. The coaches have been real good with me, staying positive. They want me to believe I’m as good as they think I am.”