Tag Archives: Alex Murphy

High School Hoops 2011 Edition No. 3

The holiday season is upon us and arriving with it are numerous high school basketball tournaments including the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, the City of Palms Classic in Florida, and the Chick fil A Classic in South Carolina. In this edition of High School Hoops, Blue Devil Nation keeps you updated on all the tournament action by providing links galore to game recaps, box scores and video clips. [private]

At the Iolani Classic, in Honolulu, Quinn Cook was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as Oak Hill won the tournament with a 4-0 record. He scored 22 points and dished out five assists as Oak Hill defeated Montverde 58-44 in the championship game. Here is a link to another championship game recap.

Cook led Oak Hill over Moanalua 108-33 with a 17 points 16 assists double-double performance in opening round action. Here is a video clip of the game action.

In the quarterfinals, Cook scored 31 points and dished out seven assists as Oak Hill defeated host Iolani Raiders 81-53. Oak Hill defeated Dr. Phillips, 81-51, in the semifinals.

The City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Florida provided plenty of action for Duke commits and recruiting targets. Austin Rivers, Marshall Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski were all in action at this tournament. Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Associate head Coach Chris Collins were present in Florida checking out the prospects.

Austin Rivers headed into this prestigious tournament looking to earn a championship as Winter Park’s previous best finish was 3rd Place. However, it wasn’t to be as Winter Park finished in 4th Place after losing to Milton, 63-62, in the semifinals, and to Mater Dei, 84-66, in the 3rd Place game.

Rivers was named to the All Tournament team after scoring 28, 42, 25 and 28 points in four games for an average of 30.75 points per game. Winter Park defeated Riverside Academy, 75-63, in the opening round and Dwyer, 76-64, in the quarterfinals.

Christ School won two games and lost two games in the tournament. Marshall Plumlee recorded 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks double-double in a 77-62 victory over Christ The King. In a 59-54 loss to Mater Dei, Plumlee scored nine points, while he scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots in a 73-61 win over Whitney Young. In their fourth tournament game, an 86-77 loss to Dwyer, Plumlee scored 12 points.

Plumlee also won the tournament dunk contest. Here is a video clip of his performance.

In games last week, Plumlee recorded two double-doubles with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and 11 points and 14 rebounds. Christ School won both games.

Shabazz Muhammad and Bishop Gorman HS played three games at the City of Palms winning once and losing twice. Muhammad scored 19 points as Bishop Gorman defeated North Port 62-48 in their opening game. Bishop Gorman lost to Dwyer, 72-63, and to Riverside Academy, 59-51. Muhammad scored 31 and 29 points, respectively, in those two losses.

St. Mark’s played two games in the Signature Series division of the City of Palms tournament. They dropped their first game, 65-41, to Academy of New Church. Kaleb Tarczewski scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Alex Murphy was held to four points. Murphy was whistled for four personal fouls so his playing time was limited to 22 minutes. In the second game, St. Mark’s defeated Westchester Country Day, 81-36. Murphy scored 18 points and Tarczewski added 13. St. Mark’s outscored Westchester 51-10 in the second half.

At the Chick fil A Classic in Blythewood, South Carolina, Benedictine struggled to a 4th Place finish in the Classic I Bracket. Benedictine went 1-2 at the tournament with Mike Gbinije scoring 18, 22 and 21 points in the three games.

In the opening round (quarterfinals), Benedictine defeated Charlotte Christian 53-41. In the semifinals, United Faith defeated Benedictine 71-61, and in the 3rd Place game, Benedictine lost to Norcross 54-43.

Moving on from the tournament action to some general links, here is a report from last week on St. Mark's teammates, and Duke recruiting targets, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski. Scroll down to the middle of the article to find the germane verbiage.

Here is a nice article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Coach Krzyzewski's visit to observe Tony Parker, while the Las Vegas Sun has a similar article on Coach Roy Williams' watching Shabazz Muhammad.

The Chicago Tribune weighs in with this article on 2013 prospect Jabari Parker. Parker had a nine points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals stat line as Simeon routed Lew Wallace 85-38 on Thursday night. [/private]

Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

BDN Photo
With just two games left in December, the Duke Men's Basketball staff will be hitting the road to check out their main targets in Holiday Tournaments.  Coach K and company will start by viewing [private] Tony Parker tomorrow.  You might want to check out our recent interview with the big man and rest assured we'll follow up with him as the season progresses.

Duke will then take in Michael Gbinije's game where they'll check on their verbals progress to date.  Part of the staff will check out Marshall Plumlee at Glaxo later in the month but the first view of him will come during the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Meyers, Florida and that event is loaded.  Two of the Blue Devils main targets are Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Murphy and both play in the event as does Austin Rivers.

"The Dogg" Nate James will head to Washington, D.C. to see Rasheed Sulaimon and Coach K is likely to go as well in that he wants to see more of the guard in person.

Duke will be looking at some other names as well and we'll share them once we've confirmed the dates.  Duke will likely add some guards to the watch list as well, but they are in no way worried with Rodney  Purvis choosing Louisville.  Like I said before, a lot of names will crop up in due time.   Duke feels as if they are in good shape with Muhammad, Murphy and Sulaimon and they'll work to get closer with Parker. [/private]

BDN Monday Musings-Kyrie, Milestones, Motivation, Recruiting and the Cheerleader of the Week

BDN salutes another member of the team behind the team - Photo Rick Crank for BDN

It's time for this week's Monday Musings piece where we think  out loud and  ponder the happenings around Duke Athletics.  This week we talk Kyrie Irving, the December schedule, and recruiting on the Duke Basketball front, Cutcliffe being on the road, a big game for the women's hoops team and we bring you the Duke Cheerleader of the Week.

Will maintaining motivation be a problem for Duke?

Duke just finished a stretch of games that included wins over Marquette, Kansas State, Oregon, Michigan State and Butler leaving us  to question if the Blue Devils can keep up their intensity during the easiest stretch of the season.  In December, players are hard at work in school and on the verge of the Holidays where many will go home for  few days.  It is not unusual for focus to drift but the thinking here is that Duke has too many players wanting to show their stuff and that should prevent too many let downs.  Duke will take on Bradley and St. Louis this week followed by a nine day break before another home contest with Elon and the team will then take another nine day break before travelling just down the road to face UNC-Greensboro.  Face it, Duke will win all of those contests easily and that will push their record to 12-0.  The reason for my confidence is as mentioned that players on the bench will want to show their stuff.  Duke will see to it that certain players get untracked and Krzyzewski's challenge will be to see his team improve before they enter ACC play in that 13 of their next 14 games will be against conference foes.

Kyrie Irving was never a secret but ...

If the ACC media was to vote today for Rookie of the Year, do you think UNC's Harrison Barnes would still outdistance Irving by a 46-9 vote?  I saw the Irving train coming after following the New Jersey native on the AAU trail seeing him play a good 20 or so times.  The youngster is capable of taking over games and he showed that in a game against Michigan State and bounced back with another 20 plus scoring effort versus Butler on Saturday.  What you have yet to see is when he starts dishing dimes [assists]  like they were going out of style and a few double-doubles are ahead.  Irving is as advertised and I can happily say that comes as no surprise to me.  And this just in -- Kyrie just won his third ACC Rookie of the Week honor of the young season.


Cook and Rivers are waiting their turn. BDN Photo

The Duke staff will remain busy during the Holiday's

There are some on the staff who stay up until just before dawn breaks watching film on the opposition.  I know this after being in close proximity of the situation for most of my life.  I also know that they'll be out in force during several December high school basketball tournaments one of which is the State Farm City of Palms event in Fort Meyers, Florida.  Check out this cast of characters which as BDN Premium members know that a lot of Duke's key targets are on hand.   The Class of 2010 No. 1 includes, Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick; No. 2 Austin Rivers, Winter Park; No. 3 Adonis Thomas, Melrose; No. 8 James McAdoo, Norfolk Christian; No. 23 Shannon Scott, Milton; No. 27 Julian Royal, Milton; No. 58 Dai-Jon Parker, Milton; No. 75 Marshall Plumlee, Christ School; No. 87 . While the Class of 2012 adds No. 4 Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman; No. 5 Ricardo Gathers, Riverside Academy; No. 38 Xavier Johnson, Mater Dei; No. 45 Omar Calhoun, Christ the King; No. 47 Evan Nolte, Milton; No. 71 Rosco Allen, Bishop Gorman.  You can discuss the various tournaments and find out more on recruiting information with BDN Premium members by joining and supporting Blue Devil Nation.

Football coaches on the recruiting trail as well

Duke Football is making its list and checking it twice in December but the recruiting efforts started in November where the staff was out the Monday following the last game.  Duke Coach David Cutliffe will have his  own players for the first time next season and he is looking to make some  key offers in the foreseeable future.  BDN will keep you up to date on the latest on the football front..

The Duke Women face Texas A & M on Wednesday

The Duke Women are flying a bit under the radar now and that's a shame for they deserve more coverage on the Duke front.  Duke faces an early season test when they take on Texas A & M tonight in Cameron Indoor Stadium this Monday evening.

And speaking of under the radar

Duke handed out yet another commemorative to fans with Coach K's 800th win being saluted during the Michigan State game.  His milestones are so many that it barely gives Duke fans a chance to catch their breath and reflect  on his success as he continues to move towards being the winningest collegiate coach of all time.

Click here and follow Blue Devil Nation on Twitter for the best Duke coverage avialable.  And be sure to check out Andrew Slaters interview with Kyrie Irving.

BDN takes a look at Duke Basketball’s Top Five Prospects

Shabazz Muhammad makes the list of Duke Basketball's Top 5 Prospects - BDN Photo

The Duke Men's Basketball season is in full swing but recruiting never stops for it is the life blood of any program.  Many have been asking who are the Blue Devils priorities and who are they focusing on at this time. BDN Premium clears up the picture for you by listing the top five prospects on the board.

The following prospects [private] currently top the Blue Devils recruiting board and we reluctantly rank them for you with our take on the pecking order.  These five guys are clearly at the top at this time but other names will be added as coaches take in more of their games over the Holiday's in tournaments like City of Palms and Glaxo Smith-Kline Invitational.

1-a - Shabazz Muhammad - The only reason I list Muhammad ahead of Murphy is his potential to play great defense and his overall athleticism.  Many have said that the talented wing is a long shot but the Blue Devils didn't get the message.  They will battle the heavyweights until the end for his services and they will meanwhile keep tabs on his brother.  Muhammad told BDN in our last interview that he was visiting for the Duke-Michigan State game but we've yet to confirm that now that the game is upon us. 

1-b - Alex Murphy - Over the summer Duke made  good in-roads with Murphy and they continue to stay in very close contact with the St. Mark's star.  Murphy, like Muhammad is hoping to visit Duke for a game in Cameron provided they can work it out with concerns to their busy high school basketball schedules.  Duke likes the edge Murphy brings to the court and they hope he takes them up on their offer sooner rather than later, but look for nothing to happen until after the season if current information holds up.  He is literally tied with Muhammad at the top of Duke's wish list.

3- Tony Parker - Another prospect Duke got closer to over the warm weather months was Tony Parker, the hulking inside presence from Georgia.  Duke needs to add some size and they love the space eater types like Parker.  In fact, it is vital that the Blue Devils add a solid front court player in this class, especially since they backed off of Tyler Adams.  Parker, like all recruits, hopes to visit for the UNC game if not sooner.

4- Rodney Purvis - Make no mistake that Duke has sparked Purvis interest and he has been a bit of a main stay at home games or at least attends more than the average recruit.  Of course, with him playing just down the road in Raleigh, it makes for convenience.  The Blue Devils would like Purvis to follow the likes of Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers and they'll be on top of his local tournament action over the holidays.

5 - Rasheed Sulaimon -There is a drop off from 4 to 5, but  Sulaimon has impressed Coach Krzyzewski and the staff off the court in a big way but Coach has yet to really see him in action other than film.  So, Sulaimon is in the evaluation stage and if he impresses the staff on the hardwood and he fits with future personnel he will likely become a Dukie.  The reason for this confidence is that he is a huge Duke fan.

While the aforementioned names are at the top of the interest list, there are several others on the radar and we'll discuss them at a  later date.  Again, the upcoming tournaments and high school season will determine who gets more looks.  In short, the dust will clear shorlty to reveal true prospects and then will readjust again in Spring.  As for the Michigan State game, Duke is expecting some local kids and if that changes, we'll let you know. [/private]

Monday Musings – Men’s and Women’s Hoops and Football

A Monday Musing tradition is the "Cheerleader of the Week," pic. We like to bring some attention to those behind the scenes and that includes our lovely cheerleaders and the best mascot in the land. Photo - BDN

The Duke Men's Basketball team were an offensive machine in route to scoring 141 points against St. Augustine's in the season opener while the Duke Women held their Blue-White game entertaining key recruits.  Meanwhile the football team continues their struggles on the gridiron and we'll talk about all that in the return of our Monday Musings article after a one week hiatus.

These Devils can run

Beep-beep!  That's the sound the infamous cartoon character the "Roadrunner," makes when churning up and down the countryside as he outwits Wile E. Coyote along the way.  This seasons Duke men's basketball team reminded me of  a bunch of roadrunners in the way they pushed the ball up and down the court with ease while never being threatened by an outgunned St. Augustine's in their exhibition game opener.  The bottom line is all but possibly one of the Duke Scholarship players thrive in a system where Krzyzewski will more often than not turn them loose.  During the post game interviews, Kyle, Kyrie and Nolan all told BDN that they have never played on a team that dropped 141 points.

Coach K shares criteria for this seasons bigs

During last weeks ACC Operation Basketball, Krzyzewski spoke of how his bigs needed to be efficient this season for Duke to have success.  In short their role will be to rebound the ball, defend the post but more importantly to be efficient with limited offensive touches.  Mason Plumlee's stat line from Saturday epitomizes what he is looking for in that he was 6 for 6 from the field, grabbed 8 boards to go with 2 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in just 19 minutes of play.  By comparison, his brother Miles Plumlee found just 2 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes but he did have 4 blocks, yet I realize that we cannot judge a player off of a simple exhibition game.

Blue Devils depth is just plain nasty

It's fair to think that even if several Blue Devils struggle on the offensive end this season, their depth will bail them out.  With a team full of shooters, especially those who can drain the three point ball, somebody shpould  always be able to step up.  A scary thought is what will be when all the Devils are hot at the same time.

BDN Premium checks in with Alex Murphy and player interviews

We posted a couple of post game interviews with Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith and will continue to bring you exclusive post game bits all season long.  BDN Premium chatted up key prospect Alex Murphy last evening and he gave us some lengthy answers to burning questions.  Support Blue Devil Nation by joining BDN Premium and get full site access which includes all of the recruiting, inside stuff and the ability to chat with other members via our private members only message board.  We think you'll be happy with what you find as a member here.

Duke Women hold their Blue-White Scrimmage and entertain key prospects

The Duke Women's Basketball team held their annual Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday where two true freshman led the way.  Chloe Wells and Tricia Liston scored 18 points apiece and the duo and their mates will mix with three Duke veterans this season, meaning they will play key roles.  For more, check out this link

Coach P and Duke entertained verbal commitment Whitney Knight and the nations #2 rated prospect  Elizabeth Williams this weekend as well as BDN will continue to focus in on the women's team recruiting efforts.

Can Duke catch Navy napping?

The  Duke Football team now enters a stretch where they should be able to compete against the teams on the remainder of their schedule.  The next opponent Navy could be fat and happy, coming off a victory over Notre Dame and this could prove to be a trap game for the Middies.  It's true that Navy will be a favorite but the fact that they do not pass the ball a lot helps Duke prevent some of the big plays that has rocked them in the season to date.  The Middies open as a 14.5 point favorite.

Renfree too good to continue his struggles

I feel for Sean Renfree who is simply learning on the fly this season.  Expectations were high for Renfree in that he had a lot of success spelling Thaddeus Lewis last season.  Renfree is a good quarterback that has hit the skids and in the process he may be overthinking the game.  Whatever the true issue might be with concerns to red zone and turnover struggles, Renfree is the only capable Duke starter in that Brandon Connette is simply a true freshman.  Of course, it would help Renfree if the vaunted Duke wideouts would reel in a few more passes which at times are right in their mitts.

Have a good week Blue Devil Nation and join us each and every Monday for more random musings.

Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

As many of you know recruiting has been red hot around the basketball program of late and the Blue Devils entertained a bevy of prospects this past weekend.  Of those visiting, Quin Cook was the biggest priority in that Duke is looking to close on the PG prospect and they [private] will likely do so sooner rather than later.  I cannot give you an exact timeline but I feel from information gleaned from top notch sources close to the situation, that he could pull the trigger to become the newest Blue Devil very soon.  We'll keep you posted.

There were a few names have not been discussed here that often visiting as well, but for now I will focus on the kids which have the Blue Devils utmost interest.  Amile Jefferson will continue to be evaluated by Duke, but no offer is expected any time soon, meaning Krzyzewski wants some more views as he progresses.  Quite simply, Jefferson needs to put some meat on his frame to be effective at Duke and only time will tell if he can fill that criteria.

Quin Cook and Austin Rivers take in the action at Countdown to Craziness - BDN Photo, Rick Crank

On the other hand, Duke is solidly involved with Rasheed Sulaimon, who we interviewed last evening.  There is no offer but that could change down the road as Coach familiarizes himself with the prospects ability to keep improving.  If he shows the desire to get better and he progresses, he will land an offer and with him being a Duke fan, if that happens consider him a done deal.

Duke will also continue to recruit Rodney Purvis who from all accounts had a good time on his visit.  Purivs recruitment will go on for quite a while IMO, so don't look for too much going on here in the near future.

Still major priorities are Alex Murphy and Shabazz Muhammad.  In fact, consider them the top two kids on the radar past Cook and or count them all as equally important.  The Blue Devils will hang in there as long as it takes with Muhammad and they appear to be in good shape with Murphy.  Visits are being firmed up as I type, more on that down the road.

Duke is still quite interested in J.P. Tokoto as well and expect some things to start happening in the next six months on this front.  And let's not forget Tony Parker for he is starting to get a lot more interest and could well have an offer shortly down the road.

Finally on Tyler Adams ... Duke is still committed to him and as of now all is fine and they were aware of the visit.  Adams is keeping his options open a bit as is Duke, but this could all work out provided he does the work.  In fact, until further notice, I wouldn't worry too much about this.

I appreciate members patience in what has turned out to be the busiest time I can remember for me in a decade or so.  It makes it tough to get to many articles I have planned and get CTC pictures up.  I head to Charlotte tomorrow for ACC Operation Basketball, so keep in mind that I will check in when I can.  Remember that BDN covers the Duke Beat in person and we strive to bring you constant in person update with our own questions to players and coaches.[/private]