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February 4, 2014

Former Golden Eagle great Kevin Murphy named NBA D-League Player of the Week


By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

Check out video from his 51-point performance for the Idaho Stampede in 2014
Check out video from his 50-point performance for the Golden Eagles in 2012

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Nearly two years to the day since he had of one of the greatest individual performances in Tennessee Tech athletics history, former Golden Eagle standout basketball player Kevin Murphy is still making headlines on a national stage.

Murphy, who dropped a program-record 50 points against SIU Edwardsville back on Jan. 30, 2012, raised the bar again on Saturday evening, breaking the Idaho Stampede's (NBA D-League) all-time scoring record with 51 points in a 127-123 victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders. He added eight rebounds, four steals, three assists, and a block on the day. His 21 field goals in the contest broke the NBA D-League record set by Jermaine Taylor last March.

And, if the break-out performance wasn't enough, the former Tech great was honored as the NBA Development League Performer of the Week Monday afternoon after averaging 36.0 points on .616 shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 1.7 assists in three games over last week. 

Murphy, who was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 2012 with the 47th overall pick, became the third-highest Golden Eagle drafted behind Jimmy Hagan, the 18th pick in 1960, and John Best, the 36th pick in 1993. He was also the first Tech player drafted since Best in 1993. One of just two career 2,000-point scorers in Golden Eagle history, Murphy is averaging 23.5 points and 6.0 rebounds this season for the Stampede. 

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 the 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,11 20+ point efforts, and the 50 point outburst against SIU-Edwardsville.

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 his final two years, Murphy garnered the OVC's Player of the Week award twice in the 2012-13 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, which earned him the Capital One Impact Performer of Week award. That effort would remain the most points scored by any DI player in the 2012-13 season, and the most since NBA player and former BYU great Jimmer Fredette scored 52 on March 11, 2011. It was the first time that 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.

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 36.7% accuracy from downtown.