The Virginia men’s basketball team went on the road on Saturday afternoon and defeated the Louisville Cardinals, 68-58. With the win, the Cavaliers earned their third ACC regular season title in four years and secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
Trey Murphy, a transfer from Rice playing in his first season in Charlottesville, was instrumental in the win with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field. During Virginia’s three-game skid to end February, Murphy faded offensively. In the losses at Duke and against NC State, Murphy scored just six total points and went a combined 3-for-7 from the field.
Against Miami, Murphy went 3-for-9 (2-for-5 from three) and added 12 points in the win. Then came the outstanding performance against the Cards. According to the third year guard, his approach didn’t change a ton. “Not much different,” Murphy stated. “Just, I would say my mentality and my mindset changed. I was just thinking I need to be more aggressive because if I’m not aggressive, it’s gonna be a lot harder for us to win.”
After a brief pause, Murphy continued, saying, “Also my mom, she was talking a lil trash to me too. So, that helped motivate me to get back to what I was doing.”
For Murphy, the bigger shock wasn’t necessarily what she said, but that she said it at all.
“My mom, she’s one of those moms that’s super biased and will be like, “Oh, you played well,” even when I know I didn’t play well,” Murphy said with a smile after the game. “But after the NC State game she literally said to me, “Yeah, you suck.” I was like oh nah I can’t have that happen, so I’ve got to pick this up.”
Murphy’s mom, Albeda, lovingly called it “tough love” on Twitter after the game.
Tough love— Albeda Murphy (@amurphy1908) March 6, 2021
The tough love from mom clearly had an impact on the Durham native. It’s one thing to hear it from your coaches, your teammates, or the fans. It’s another thing to hear it from Mom. “I think that fired me up to make some more plays and put the ball in the basket.”
On Saturday, Murphy played 38 minutes and took the second-most number of shots on the team (behind only Hauser, who finished with 24 points on 14 shots). He hunted for his shot and just generally made things difficult for the Louisville defense. It’s clear that his mother’s words had a distinct impact.
Moms always know what they’re doing lol https://t.co/9DAARNXgyT— Trey (@Treymurphyiii) March 7, 2021
Now, Murphy is an ACC champion, in no small part due to his contributions over the course of the season and especially in the season finale. So what did Murphy say his mom’s message has been after the last two games?
“Good job, baby.”