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Virginia's Trey Murphy III talks season goals, development, Tony Bennett

December 9, 2020

Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Trey Murphy III loved the game of basketball. 

He prides himself on the grind and everything else that comes with it. In high school, he averaged 24.7 points per game along with seven boards on 49% shooting. Murphy III was seen as one of the most consistent and efficient scorers in the state of North Carolina. Murphy III would finish high school as a two-star prospect and held just five scholarship offers coming out of high school. 

He chose Rice University.

Murphy III was one of Rice’s best players in his two seasons at Rice. Entering as a freshman, he appeared in 32 games and only started one. Coming off the bench, he was averaging over eight points per game and shot 42% from behind the arc which slotted him fourth in three-point shooting percentage in the Conference USA.

Year two comes along and he’s molded himself quite the role with the Owls and made major leaps during the summer prior to his sophomore season. He played in 29 games, obviously, the season was cut short, and started 23 of those games. 

He made his presence made as a sophomore with the Owls, leading the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game, as well as the team leader in dunks, blocks, and field-goals made. He had 25 double-digit scoring games and added one double-double on top of that. He proved himself as one of the best scorers in the conference.

In March, Murphy III would enter the transfer portal. COVID-19 pandemic caused tons of names to enter the portal, Murphy III being one of them. That would immediately make him one of the best available sit-one, play two transfers. But, just weeks before the season opener, Tony Bennett received the news that he would have Murphy III this season.

Murphy III sat-down with to discuss his transfer to Virginia, how his game has changed since the move, UVA’s current roster, and a whole lot more on Murphy III and the Cavaliers.

Thoughts on your game this season, so far?

”My game this season has definitely developed. I feel like I have added a couple of tools to my game ever since I been here. The emphasis on defense is really important and it has really made me a better player. I know I’m going to have to be two-way to become the best player I can be.”

How has your development been under Coach [Tony] Bennett?

“I think the development under Coach Bennett has been pretty quick. He’s done a lot for my game and he’s improved my shooting and just defense and the defensive mindset, he preaches that every day, and we understand we have to play defense and that’s how we are going to win games. I just gotta make sure I’m a good team defender as well as individual man defender to make sure my development is getting better.”

How has your game changed since you transferred from Rice?

“I think this would talk about my development [laughs]. I think at Rice, I wasn’t really focused on defense and I was much weaker. Since I've gotten here I’ve gotten a lot stronger, I’ve gained five to ten pounds and I’ve just felt like a much stronger and much athletic player. I’ve been able to shoot the ball really well this year so far and defend the ball better.”

Thoughts on this year’s current roster?

”This year’s team is so deep. Like, we have about ten to eleven guys that can play. Our rotations this year are going to be kind of crazy and a little hectic at times, I mean, t’s a tough position for a coach to be in when you have ten or eleven guys that can play. I think that’s why it will help us a lot, it makes us a really lethal team with the depth we have.”

Simple, what is this year’s overall goal?

“Our overall goal is to win a national championship. in 2019 they won a national championship and I watched the whole documentary that they had for it and it gave me goosebumps. I know I’d love to touch something like that, touch greatness. That’s like the ultimate goal and that’s why I came here, I knew we have the chance to win a national championship. It’s something you dream about as a kid.”

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