The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Junior guard Trey Murphy III drafted 17th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, traded to the New Orleans Pelicans

The standout transfer from Rice averaged 11.3 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers

<p>Virginia junior guard Trey Murphy III was the only Division I player last season to join the "50-40-90" club, shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from the three-point line and 92.7 percent from the free-throw line.</p>

Virginia junior guard Trey Murphy III was the only Division I player last season to join the "50-40-90" club, shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from the three-point line and 92.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Men’s basketball junior guard Trey Murphy III was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Durham, N.C. native played three seasons in the college ranks — two with Rice and one with Virginia — before declaring for the NBA Draft in mid-April. 

Murphy III was lightly recruited out of Cary Academy despite averaging nearly 25 points per game and received little interest from the ACC schools in his backyard like Duke, North Carolina and NC State. Nonetheless, after committing to Rice, Murphy III was an instant contributor, averaging 8.4 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game coming off of the bench. Furthermore, he made his impact known from behind the arc, converting 42.1 percent of his three-point shots — good for fourth in the Conference USA. 

Following a strong first season, Murphy III found himself in a starting role for the Owls in his sophomore season, leading the team with 13.7 points per game. At the same time, Murphy III gained some muscle and continued to grow taller, catching the eyes of the big-time programs that passed him up just two years before. 

After being courted by the likes of Villanova, Pittsburgh and Houston, Murphy III committed to the Cavaliers — seemingly a perfect fit for the squad given his accuracy from the three-point line and strong defense thanks to a 7-foot-1 wingspan. 

This perfect fit was more than affirmed after he received an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA and was able to join the Cavaliers for their 2020-2021 campaign. Murphy III made an instant impact, scoring a career-high 21 points in his Virginia debut against Towson. Furthermore, he became the only Division I player that season to accomplish the vaunted “50-40-90” — shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from the three-point line and 92.7 percent from the free-throw line. 

Nonetheless, while Murphy III certainly had a strong year for the Cavaliers, many Virginia fans were relatively confident he would stay in Charlottesville for his final year. Although he established himself as a strong shooter and slasher to the rim, he struggled to create his own offense, often still learning how to utilize his new height and strength. However, as the NBA Draft drew closer, scouts praised him for his strong defending, ability to seamlessly understand his role in an offense and overall coachability. 

Murphy III will join an extremely youthful team in the Pelicans, who have former Duke standout forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and former Texas center Jaxson Hayes. Look for him to provide an instant impact in his first year, serving as a player who can energize a tired offense in the third quarter and lock down elite NBA talent on the defensive side of the ball. 

Comments