Virginia Basketball Lands Highly Regarded Rice Transfer Trey Murphy III

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Rice transfer Trey Murphy III is heading to Charlottesville. ~ Photo courtesy of Roger Steinman & Rice Athletics

The University of Virginia men’s basketball program has started the week with good news courtesy of Rice University transfer Trey Murphy III, who took to Twitter on Monday (April 13) to announce where he will finish his collegiate career.

Murphy III, a 6’8”, 200-pound wing, chose the Cavaliers over Houston, Pittsburgh, and Villanova. He will redshirt his first year in Charlottesville before having two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2021-22. Of this spring’s large group of sit-out transfers, the Durham (N.C.) native is rated the no. 12 transfer option in the nation according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. Jeff Goodman of Watch Stadium ranks Murphy III as the no. 24 sit-out transfer. Per Goodman, there are over 500 sit-out transfers this spring.

Watch Stadium’s scouting report of the former Rice standout is this: “Great shooter with NBA range and high-level skill. Not a playmaker, but his best days of basketball are ahead of him. Length and athleticism allow him to play anywhere in the country.”

Borzello writes that Murphy III has “generated a wide array of interest due to his size and shooting ability.”

ESPN Stats & Info Researcher Zach Pereles produced the following nugget regarding UVA’s newest addition.

Murphy III averaged 13.7 points in 29 games – he earned 23 starts – his sophomore season at Rice. Known as a sharpshooter coming out of Cary Academy (Cary, N.C.), where he made 47% from beyond the arc in his career, Murphy III’s outside shooting carried over onto the college level. At Rice he made 42.1% (64-152) from 3 as a freshman and 36.8% (75-204) as a sophomore. Added height and length have helped Murphy III become a force on the defensive end, where led Rice in blocks (16) and was second in steals (27) last season.

Murphy III measured in at 6’5”, 170 pounds when he arrived at Rice. He has since grown three inches and added around 30 pounds.

Virginia’s scholarship allotment for the 2020-21 season is now full. Even if the NCAA allows first-time transfers the opportunity to play immediately, Murphy III has told reporters that he wants to redshirt next season. When he suits up in 2021-22, UVA’s scholarship roster projects to look like this:

Point Guards: Kihei Clark (Sr), Reece Beekman (Soph)
Wings: Kody Stattmann (Sr), Casey Morsell (Jr), Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Soph), Carson McCorkle (Soph)
Combo Forwards: Trey Murphy III (R-Jr), Justin McKoy (Jr)
Posts: Papi Caffaro (R-Jr), Kadin Shedrick (R-Soph)

EDGE Outlook

We have updated our Virginia Men’s Basketball Scholarship Picture page to reflect Trey’s commitment. Click here to view the page, which includes scholarship numbers as well as a rundown of those targets confirmed to have been offered by UVA. The Cavaliers have no more scholarships to give for this upcoming season and have three scholarships available for the 2021 Class.

Murphy III projects as a skilled combo forward for the Hoos. From a physical standpoint I think Isaiah Wilkins is a solid comparison, although Murphy III needs to gain some weight and strength during his redshirt year. He made plays on the defensive end at Rice, which is a good sign, and has a 7’1” wing span. The tools are there for him to be a good defender as a combo forward, but a redshirt year will be good for him.

Offensively, he is a quality 3-point shooter. UVA will lose Sam Hauser, Jay Huff and Tomas Woldetensae after the 2020-21 season, so Murphy III’s outside shooting ability will be welcomed. He is a solid finisher around the basket and has said he is working on improving his midrange game.

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson has a high opinion of Murphy III. Listen to what he had to say about the now future Cavalier in the tweet below (h/t to Embrace The Pace for retweeting).

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