Well, it’s official. Trey Murphy III confirmed on Twitter that he would remain in the NBA Draft and forgo the remainder of his eligibility at Virginia. This news was to be expected based on his improved draft stock over the past few months, but it will be sad not to see him in a Virginia jersey next year.
“I loved my time at UVA and everyone there, but it’s time for me to move on,” Murphy said to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who had the story first. “I feel like I am ready to take on this challenge. I wanted to show that I am fully committed to this opportunity, and how serious I am about this process. I’ve been looking forward to it my entire life. I’ve never been more ready to embark on this journey; I feel ready and confident.”
A transfer from Rice, the 6-9, 206 pound Murphy III was expected to sit for a season to bulk up and get used to the system. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and changes in eligibility, he was able to play right away and made an immediate splash with the 2020-21 squad. In the season opener against Towson, Murphy III went a blistering 6-for-8 from three with a team-high 21 points.
He finished the season as Virginia’s best three-point shooter, making 43.3% for the year. Murphy III averaged 11.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and had an eFG% of 63.9%.
His performance over the season helped the Hoos finish first in the ACC in the regular season, finishing the season strong with a 17 point performance against Louisville on the road.
Experts predict he will go anywhere from late first round (ESPN has him at No. 30) to early second. Murphy III was invited to the NBA Combine, as was teammate Sam Hauser. The Combine starts June 21 and runs through the 27th in Chicago.
“We had a great season, I enjoyed it a lot,” Murphy told Givony. “One of the most fun years of basketball I’ve been a part of. I grew a lot as a player, which I owe to Coach [Tony] Bennett. I wasn’t a great defender when I arrived, and I improved there. I’m a good defender now and UVA helped me expand my game and become a more attractive prospect.”
The Cavaliers added two transfers in the off-season with ECU’s Jayden Gardner and Indiana’s Armaan Franklin joining the fray. First year Taine Murray is the other new face that Virginia fans will see in 2021-22.