The Utah Jazz entered the 2012 draft with a single draft pick at 47th overall. It has become something of a lucky horseshoe for the Utah Jazz. They had notoriously picked up Mo Williams and Paul Millsap at number 47. Also during the uncertain years after the retirement of John Stockton and Karl Malone, it was number 47 that had stepped up to keep the Jazz in playoff contentions. The Jazz drafting Kevin Murphy at number 47 was brilliant.
Murphy played high school basketball at Creekside High School, in Fairburn, Georgia. He posted impressive numbers during his senior year. He elected to play college for Tennessee Tech where he would play all four years. Murphy’s growth from year to year was clear. His freshman year he averaged just 9.6 ppg, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Verses his senior year, when he averaged 20.6 ppg, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Perhaps his most impressive feat playing at Tennessee was when he scored 50 points against SIU Edwardsville. It was the most points scored in Division I in 2011-12 and the most since Utah favorite Jimmer Fredette of BYU scored 52 on March 11, 2011.
Experts would rate Kevin Murphy fairly high some projecting him to go in the middle to late of the first round. It wasn’t a tough choice to pick Kevin Murphy up at number 47. Besides his 50 point game, he had become known for his deadly quick first step, and good 3 point shooter. Tennessee Tech coach Steve Payne would comment on Murphy when he said, “His first step is a weapon. He’s really quick. Extremely quick. When he’s low and is strong with the ball, he gets by everybody… He’s not a catch and shoot three guy, but he can go off a ball screen. You better get over it and trap him. If you go under, he can make 3s.”
The Jazz will look forward to bringing Guard Kevin Murphy off the bench with the other slew of long range gun slingers. As I have said before coach Corbin will mix and match different personnel on the floor, but I don’t expect huge things from Murphy this year, but watch out for him in the next year or two to step up as a regular Jazz weapon. I predict he will score 6 points off the bench on average. After this season the sky is the limit for the 47th pick.