Syracuse assistant Rob Murphy is one of the best recruiters in the conference, and his name has popped up for the head coach opening at Kent State. Potentially losing Murph would be a huge blow for SU.
In the recruiting world, Murphy is big-time. He has consistently put the Orange in the running for the nation’s best talent and deserves credit for nabbing incoming McDonald’s All-Ameican Rakeem Christmas.
“The thing that really sold me was when Coach Murphy showed us around the school and showed us their style of play. And talking with Coach Boeheim about when I get there and having my friends around.”
Not many could have predicted Wes Johnson was going to become an All-American player and a lottery pick. But Murph spotted Wes’ crazy athletic ability after meeting him at a gym in Detroit. Johnson obviously chose to leave Iowa State and land at Syracuse in part because of his relationship with Murphy. He has often found diamonds in the rough as well. Kris Joseph, Arinze Onuaku, Kristof Ongenaet, Donte Greene, C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita have all been targets of Murphy. Keita and Fair, who were the least known of SU’s incoming recruits, were the most consistent and best freshman on the squad.
Since Murphy joined the SU staff six years ago, Syracuse has produced five NBA players. Three of them have been the protégées of Murphy (Wes Johnson, Greene and Hakeem Warrick). Kris Joseph will likely join that list after next season. Replacing him on the staff would be a huge task. His impact on players reaches off the court too. Former players rave about Murphy and his influence on both basketball and their personal lives.
Donte Green’s take on the coach:
“Coach Murph has had a huge impact on my life on and off the court. I nicknamed him ‘Five Guys’ because he’s a great coach, mentor, father, brother and friend. I’m thankful Murph has remained in my life since I left Syracuse.”
A.O. gave Murph a lot of credit to his success as well.
“When Coach Murphy recruited me I was not ranked and unknown. Murph’s first words to me were ‘believe in yourself because most people won’t – you must strive daily to prove doubters wrong.’ Seven years later I have my Syracuse University degree and pursuing a my professional basketball career. I thank Murph for helping me grow in all areas of life.”
If he does get offered the Kent State job, Murph would be wise to take it. He won’t become the head man at Syracuse anytime soon since Mike Hopkins has been anointed Boeheim’s successor. He also has roots at Kent State. Most importantly, who else is going to write and produce the team’s rap singles? You can’t help but wish Murphy all the best in his ascent up the coaching ranks. He’s served the Orange well in his six years. Hopkins has been terrific on the recruiting trail, but losing Murph would be a huge blow to the SU recruiting pipeline that’s been delivering elite talent recently.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert