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No Such Thing as Summer Vacation for Basketball's Murphy

June 18, 1999

By Tim Welsh

For most college students, the summer is a time for rest and relaxation. Most students use the extra time found during the summer to take vacations, visit friends, hang out by the pool and to be generally lazy.

For Notre Dame basketball forward Troy Murphy, this image of a relaxing summer is only a fantasy.

The 1998-99 BIG EAST rookie of the year is busier than ever this summer as he prepares for his sophomore season with the Irish.

“The summer is going well,” says Murphy from the Notre Dame campus. “It’s going kind of quickly. I am trying to get some work done and get some credit so I can go on this trip in July”. Murphy is referring to his trip in July to Tempe, Ariz., for the final round of tryouts for the USA Basketball Junior World Championship team. Murphy is one of only 16 players remaining after the most recent round of tryouts in Colorado Springs from May 27-29.

“The tryouts went well,” says Murphy. “There were about 30 kids there and everyone got to play a lot. Coach (Matt) Doherty came out to watch and I got a chance to meet him. It was a good experience.”

Among the other final 16 players on the team is Matt Carroll, who will be a freshman guard on next year’s Irish team.

The USA team will be cut to 12 players during the final round of tryouts from July 2-11 in Tempe, Ariz., on the campus of Arizona State. Sun Devil coach Rob Evans is the head coach of the USA team and is assisted by Jerry Dunn of Penn State and Dave Odom of Wake Forest. The final team of 12 will compete at the FIBA men’s junior world championship in Portugal from July 15-25.

While Murphy was busy qualifying for the United States team, Doherty was beginning to settle in as the new head coach at Notre Dame. As a result, this summer Murphy has also en adjusting to a new coach.

“He really knows the game,” says Murphy of Doherty.

In preparation for his first season with Doherty, Murphy has been working out everyday trying to get better. The Notre Dame strength and conditioning program takes up a good majority of Murphy’s day as he works to improve on his 6-9, 225-pound frame. Murphy has been working on his shooting in particular hoping to add a three-point threat to his inside-outside game and he takes 600-700 shots every day.

“I’m starting to get confidence in my shooting,” says Murphy.

Besides working out, Murphy is working three sessions of Notre Dame basketball camp. Murphy is living in a dormitory and counseling basketball campers all day until he leaves for the tryouts in Tempe. Other Notre Dame players are also working camp including the graduate Phil Hickey and Antoni Wyche, plus David Graves and Harold Swanagan.

It has been a busy summer for Troy Murphy and it is only June. On top of try-outs, new coaches, workouts and camp, Murphy will try to get ahead on his schoolwork by taking summer school classes. Murphy is also looking for a little free time this summer like normal college students.

“Hopefully I can get down to the shore, get in the ocean and hang out on the beach a little bit at some point,” says Murphy, the Morristown, N.J. native. “That will be really relaxing.”

With all he has been doing this summer, Murphy has definitely earned his share of relaxation time.