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NEW YORK -- Tennessee Tech's Kevin Murphy heard his name called a little after 10 p.m. Thursday night, the 47th overall pick during the second round of the NBA Draft, when he was selected by the Utah Jazz. Murphy, a high-scoring guard from Atlanta, Ga., became the ninth Golden Eagle to be drafted and the first since John Best in 1993.
Murphy's selection at No. 47 is the third-highest in school history behind Jimmy Hagan, the 18th pick in 1960 by the Minneapolis Lakers, and Best, the 36th pick by the New Jersey Nets.
With the Jazz, Murphy will play in the NBA's Northwest Division of the Western Conference, which includes NBA Finalists Oklahoma City. In that division, Murphy will also get the chance to face another former OVC standout, Kenneth Faried, with the Denver Nuggets.
A finalist for the 2012 Tennessee Tech Outstanding Male Athlete award, Murphy shattered numerous school, conference and national records over the duration of his senior season. He finished season with 2,019 career points in 128 games overall (14th in OVC history) en route to becoming just the 16th player in conference history to score 2,000 career points. His top performances included four 30+ point efforts and 11 20+ point efforts.
Nationally, Murphy finished the season ranked No. 10 in scoring, while his 20.6 points per game led the OVC. He now holds the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time scoring list, and became Tech's all-time leader in games played during the Ohio Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals. In 33 games played during his senior season, Murphy led the team in scoring 20 contests.
A member of the OVC All-Tournament Team for the past two years, Murphy garnered the OVC’s Player of the Week award twice this season (on Dec. 19 and Feb. 6) and was also a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Lou Hensen Player of the Year award.
Murphy’s best game of the season was arguably his 50-point performance against SIU-Edwardsville on January 30, which earned him the Capital One Impact Performer of Week award. That effort worked to remain the most points scored by any DI player this year, and the most since Jimmer Fredette scored on March 11, 2011. It is the first time than an OVC player scored 50 points since the 1991-92 season, and the most points scored by any TTU player in school history. His 16 field goals made in that outing also tied the Eblen Center high for most field goals made in a game.
Over the course of Murphy's career, he has racked up 2,019 points to become just the second player in Golden Eagle history to have surpassed 2,000 career points. Ahead of him is Earl Wise (1986-90) with 2,196 career points.
Murphy averaged 15.6 points per game from 2008-12, played in 128 games (the most of any Golden Eagle in history) and started in 100. He tallied 533 rebounds and 252 assists on his career, and shot at a .437 mark from the floor. He also shot over 40 percent from behind the arc in his last two seasons as a Golden Eagle, finishing his career with a .366 accuracy from downtown.
Previous Golden Eagles drafted (round/overall
1956 - Bruce Harris; Fort Wayne Pistons (na/na)
1985 - Herb Merritt; Detriot Pistons (11/76)
1960 - Jim Hagan; Minneapolis Lakers (3/18)
1967 - Ron Filipek; Philedelphia 76ers (9/100)
1969 - Frank Bartleson; Baltimore Bullets (10/141)
1976 - Frank Jones; Buffalo Braves (7/118)
1990 - Milos Babic; Phoenix Suns (2/50)
1993 - John Best; New Jersey Nets (2/36)