Duke Basketball: Why Alex Murphy Will Be the Unsung Hero This Season

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent INovember 21, 2012

Duke Basketball: Why Alex Murphy Will Be the Unsung Hero This Season

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    Alex Murphy has yet to do much on the court in his young Duke career.

    But that doesn’t mean he won’t help Duke as this college basketball season wears on. Murphy could very easily become the team’s unsung hero by the time his freshman year is over.

    Don’t be surprised if the Cameron Crazies are singing Murphy’s praises for doing the little things to help his team win by the time March rolls around.

    Here’s why Murphy will be Duke’s unsung hero in 2012-13.

He's Got the Genes

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    One reason Duke freshman Alex Murphy has the potential to become the team’s unsung hero this year is his basketball pedigree.

    It’s been well documented how much the sport has influenced the Murphy household. Jay, the family patriarch, starred at Boston College in the 1980s. He scored nearly 1,800 career points in his four seasons with the Eagles.

    Alex’s mother played professional basketball in Europe, according to Jay. And Alex’s brother Erik has overcome some bad life decisions to become an impact player for Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators.

    So at least from the standpoint of genetics, Alex Murphy has the makeup to potentially leave his mark on this young Duke season.

Duke Is Very Friendly to a Player Like Him

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    Duke freshman Alex Murphy is tall, lanky and has a great three-point shot.

    That scouting report fit a few Blue Devils who had very productive careers playing under Mike Krzyzewski. Murphy has already drawn comparisons to former national champion-winning Duke forwards Kyle Singler and Mike Dunleavy Jr. Both of those players were labeled unsung heroes before becoming Duke legends.

    That was because both players found ways to make respectable impacts as freshman. Singler averaged 13.3 ppg his freshman year, while Dunleavy Jr. put up 9.1 ppg.

    If Murphy can come anywhere close to those kinds of numbers by stretching out opposing defenses with his supreme outside shooting, he’ll definitely be an unsung hero of sorts in the hearts and minds of the Cameron Crazies.

Not Much Is Expected of Him This Season

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    No offense to any unsung heroes out there in the sporting world.

    But saying an athlete is an unsung hero is a nice way of saying they’re not good enough to be superstars. Duke freshman Alex Murphy could very well become the Blue Devils’ unsung hero this season because it doesn’t look like he’s ready to become a star this early in his career.

    Murphy has played a combined total of eight minutes in Duke's first three games. It’s unknown at this point why Murphy has seen so little playing time.

    While it’s certainly possible that Murphy could see his opportunities increase as the season unfolds, it’s tough to envision him dominating the opposition this season. And that’s why Murphy’s likely to become an unsung hero.

    He’s a freshman with tons of talent.

    But at this point, he’s going to have to make the most of his little playing time and let his talent shine through the unsung hero role.

Duke Doesn't Need Anymore Star Power

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    When determining the star players on this year’s version of the Duke Blue Devils, it’s pretty obvious who’s shining brightest.

    Duke fans already know what senior standouts Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly bring to the table. That’s enough veteran stars to power Duke or any other major college basketball team.

    But a great team is a complete team. The Blue Devils don’t need any more stars to be a great team. They need role players. They need unsung heroes.

    Alex Murphy might just be the man for this job. If he can come off the bench to play hustle defense, hit some outside shots and grab a big rebound or two, then his freshman campaign will be a success.

    Murphy doesn’t have to make SportsCenter every night to help Duke. There are already enough Blue Devils capable of that.

    Doing the little things will make all the difference for Coach K’s team.