When the college basketball season began, the Duke Blue Devils expected big things from Alex Murphy. The redshirt freshman from Wakefield, RI spent last season learning the Duke system and becoming stronger while adjusting to life in college.
At 6'8", 220 pounds, many believed Murphy would serve as an athletic wing who could provide solid outside shooting and the ability to play in the post—similar to what the Blue Devils had in Kyle Singler.
When he started in Duke's first two exhibition games, it was assumed that Murphy had earned a regular spot in Mike Krzyzewski's rotation. Instead, Alex Murphy hasn't started a game since.
As Duke has climbed to the top of the polls, Murphy has been unable to climb his way back into a significant role for the Blue Devils. In the team's three games against ranked opponents, Murphy has played a total of seven minutes. And with Mike Krzyzewski's tendency to use a short bench as the season progresses, it will be difficult for Murphy to earn more playing time.
Some have cited Murphy's lack of confidence as the reason he has not seen the court much this season, which Murphy himself admits is an occasional struggle:
"The biggest thing with me is confidence in myself and confidence in my own ability, That's one thing, for whatever reason, that's been up and down for me, the biggest thing I've struggled with." - Alex Murphy, The Fayetteville Observer
Unfortunately for Murphy, he could fall even farther down the depth chart next season. With the arrival of super-recruit Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, a transfer from Mississippi State, it will be a challenge for Murphy to find his role with these future teams. He will also face competition for playing time from Semi Ojeleye and the possible return of Andre Dawkins.
For now, Murphy is focused on doing everything he can to help his current team become better and reach its goal of winning a championship. However, if he wants to see major minutes, now is the time for him to consider his options for transferring to other schools, especially considering he's already used his redshirt year.
If Murphy's goals are to receive a great education and have an opportunity to win a national championship, it would be difficult for him to find a better situation than the one he's currently in. But if Murphy wants the opportunity to play and possibly reach the next level, he should strongly consider suiting up for a different team next season.