Duke basketball forward Alex Murphy will transfer

Dec. 05, 2013 @ 10:07 PM

Having arrived at Duke ahead of schedule, Alex Murphy is leaving before his time is up.

A 6-9 redshirt sophomore forward who has fallen deep behind teammates in Duke’s rotation, Murphy intends to transfer from Duke when the semester ends next week, a source close to Murphy said Thursday.

Recruited as a member of the Class of 2012, Murphy reclassified to the Class of 2011 and arrived at Duke from South Kingstown (R.I.) High School one year ahead of schedule.

Murphy played in all four of Duke’s exhibition games during a tour to China and Dubai in the summer of 2011 before starting the Blue Devils’ exhibition game against Bellarmine.

But a concussion that he suffered in practice ultimately led to him redshirting during the 2011-12 season. That move set him back to a point from which he never fully recovered.

Last season, as a redshirt freshman, Murphy averaged 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds while appearing in 31 games. He played only 6.3 minutes per game, though.

This season, Murphy has played in five Duke games while sitting out four others. His highest number of minutes in a game this season is nine on two occasions.

He hasn’t played in No. 10 Duke’s three most-recent games — vs. Alabama and Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York last week and Tuesday night’s 79-69 win over No. 22 Michigan.

A wing player, Murphy has seen those minutes dominated by Duke’s two leading scorers — 6-8 forwards Jabari Parker (22.1 points per game) and Rodney Hood (19.3). Among Duke’s recruited scholarship players, only Marshall Plumlee (28 minutes) has played fewer minutes overall this season than Murphy’s 33.

Even freshmen Matt Jones (82 minutes) and Semi Ojeleye (35 minutes) have played more minutes than Murphy.

Rated the No. 15 player in the Class of 2012 before he reclassified to 2011, Murphy picked Duke over Florida and Boston College, two schools with strong family ties.

His older brother, Erik, played at Florida before heading to the NBA, where he was the Chicago Bulls’ second-round draft pick last June.

Jay Murphy, Alex and Erik’s father, played at Boston College from 1980-84.

Attempts to reach Alex Murphy and his family were unsuccessful on Thursday night. Duke basketball spokesman Matt Plizga had no comment.

Having defeated Michigan on Tuesday night, the Blue Devils are taking a break from games for final exams. Duke returns to the court against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 16 (7 p.m., ESPNU) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.