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Trey Murphy drafted No. 17 by the New Orleans Pelicans

Virginia star heading to New Orleans.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Towson David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After one season with the Virginia men’s basketball team, Trey Murphy is officially headed to the NBA. The 6-9 guard out of Cary, North Carolina was picked No. 17 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday night’s opening round of the 2021 NBA Draft. Murphy is the first first-round player to go since De’Andre Hunter was picked No. 4 overall in 2019, and he is the eighth Cavalier drafted since 2012.

Murphy wasn’t expected to even suit up for the Cavaliers last season after transferring from Rice, but the coronavirus pandemic led to more waivers being permitted. Right out of the gate, Murphy had a huge impact as he scored 21 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from three in the season opener against Towson.

For the season, Murphy averaged 11.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He shot a team best 43.3% from deep on 120 attempts and shot 50.3% from the field. With those two percentages and his free throw mark of 92.7%, Murphy was the first NCAA Division I player to earn a spot in the 50-40-90 club — 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the line — since 2017-18. He’s also the only player to have done it in ACC play since the stat was measured by the NCAA starting in 1992-93.

Although he had some struggles in a late stretch in ACC play, Murphy was a huge addition to the Virginia squad. Murphy has incredible length, a great defensive mind, and athleticism that makes him a benefit to any NBA team.