Duke Basketball: Which Freshman Will Emerge for the Blue Devils?

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2012

When it comes to determining which freshman for the Duke University Blue Devils will be getting showered with the most praise by the legendary Dick Vitale for being a “Diaper Dandy, baby!” in the 2012-13 season, a few candidates come to mind.

Blue Devils like guard Rasheed Sulaimon, and power forwards Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee, will take the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium with high expectations. But don’t overlook the tall, lanky Alex Murphy when it comes to determining which Blue Devil freshman will have the biggest season under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

In fact, it will be very tough for the Cameron Crazies to overlook Murphy, who—for three main reasons—will breakout in a big way during his upcoming redshirt freshman campaign.

First, that aforementioned redshirt will pay off for Murphy. A small forward originally from Rhode Island, Murphy joined the Blue Devils a year early out of high school and spent his first year on campus on the bench in a redshirt role last season.

Having a full year to get acclimated to college classes, workout under the team’s strength and conditioning program and practice with his Duke teammates without having to have jumped directly into the fire and face stiff college competition last season should benefit Murphy now and down the road.

Had Andre Dawkins redshirted during his freshman year instead of played for the Blue Devils a year early out of high school himself in the 2009-10 season, he might have had a more consistent Duke career up to this point.

Second, there’s simply no denying that Murphy has basketball in his blood. His father, Jay, was a star at Boston College in the early 1980s. His mother played professional basketball in Europe. And his older brother, Erik, is currently starting at the University of Florida.

Those kinds of genes are impressive, to say the least. Alex Murphy was certainly born to play basketball, and Duke fans are hoping that an upbringing in the sport will prepare him for the rigors of the ACC.

Third, Murphy’s own physical attributes and skills make him a player who should thrive in a Duke uniform. Murphy is 6’8” with a slender build and an absolutely vicious stroke from three-point range.

Does this scouting report remind you of any former famous Blue Devil forwards?

It wouldn’t be surprising if Murphy turns into another Mike Dunleavy, Jr. or Kyle Singler, because it’s almost as though he’s a carbon copy of those two former Duke national champions.

Murphy, much like Singler and Dunleavy, Jr. did in their Durham days, can create mismatches from the forward position with his ability to bang treys. And who knows?

If Murphy turns into the dominant player the experts are pegging him to be, he perhaps could join Singler and Dunleavy, Jr. as national champions some day.

Either way, expect big things from Murphy this season.