While the timing of the news may have felt odd, the fit between Ryan Murphy and Duquesne feels quite right.
Everything about the announcement of Ryan Murphy’s arrival to Duquesne felt odd. For starters, the uniqueness of the timing. The news was officially released at 10:15 at night on December 3rd. At that time last year for the Dukes, 10:15 on December 3rd, they had already catapulted themselves to the talk of the conference with a 6-0 start to the season. We were introduced to a new style of Duquesne basketball, one that got them to a 21-9 record before the season abruptly concluded. Yet while the timing may be off by normal standards, the addition of Murphy is one that has the chance to once again lift and keep Duquesne at the top of the A10 and in conversations. Here’s why.
Murphy Fits The Structure
Essentially what the Dukes are getting here is a Lamar Norman Jr. type player, and their statistics from behind the arc are shockingly similar. Both players had 127 attempts from distance, and Murphy trailed Norman Jr. by just one make, having 42 made 3-pointers. Coach Dambrot will have ample flexibility with lineups, and this sets up a rotation that is built on roles. Murphy will spread the court and allow for the likes of Tavian Dunn-Martin and Sincere Carry to play the styles they want to play. It will also leave the door open for Marcus Weathers, who could emerge as one of the best in the A10 this season, to avoid the usual amount of double-teams that he saw in the first two games of this season.
The Big Games
On the current roster, Duquesne returned 5 players (Weathers, Hughes, Dunn-Martin, Carry, Norman Jr.) who scored 20 points in at least one game last season. Now, Duquesne adds a sixth to its roster, as Murphy picked up a 28-point performance last season where he went 10-17 from the field against Nicholls State. Many times at Pitt last season Murphy showed his firepower, having seven total games with 3+ made 3PT field goals.
When teams play Duquesne now, they will have to deal with the fact that the bulk of scoring could come from anywhere, and it certainly makes Duquesne a dangerous team, and a candidate to be one of the top teams in scoring in the conference.
Lastly, something that Dukes fans got to see last season with the consistent play of graduate transfer Baylee Steele, the value of experience. “An experienced player who is game-tested,” that’s how Keith Dambrot described Ryan Murphy. With 49 career Division 1 games under his belt, that is exactly who he is, and will be somebody that Dambrot knows he can trust to make the right decisions and to let the game come to him. The talk of the Dukes heading into the season was the trust in returning a more experienced group. Ryan Murphy fits into that philosophy perfectly
Ryan Murphy will be eligible on December 11th, and his arrival to the team is definitely something exciting for Duquesne fans. This team is built on experience, and with the addition of Murphy it looks like Dambrot has all the pieces he needs to continue progressing this program to the places they want to go.
The next game on their schedule is December 19th, a road trip to Richmond.