March 13, 2015
Troy Murphy, one of just two University of Notre Dame men’s basketball players to score 2,000 points and grab 900 rebounds during his career, was honored today as part of the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Legends Class presented by New York Life. Murphy was among 15 individuals honored at the ACC Legends luncheon this afternoon at the Sheraton Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Twice a consensus first team All-American, Murphy ranks among the greatest players in BIG EAST Conference history as a two-time recipient of BIG EAST Player of the Year award (2000 and 2001). He also copped the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honor in 1999.
“I grew up in New Jersey,” said Murphy during his on-stage interview at the luncheon. “And since Notre Dame was part of the BIG EAST, it was a chance to go away to school and still have the chance to come back and play in front of my family and friends at home.”
Murphy particularly recalled a home-court victory over a highly-ranked Connecticut team (68-66 over #12 Connecticut in 1999-2000) during his time in South Bend–and he expressed excitement about Notre Dame’s new relationship with the ACC.
“Notre Dame has a great history in basketball, and we’re happy to be in the ACC. We hope we can continue that success in this league,” added Murphy, who was joined by his mother, Chris, at the event. The ACC Legends class will be honored Friday night as part of the ACC Tournament semifinal doubleheader.
Murphy played three seasons for the Irish (1998-2001) and scored 2,011 points (21.2 ppg.) and grabbed 924 rebounds (9.8) while playing in 94 outings (93 of them starts). At the time, he ranked as the first Irish basketball player with 2,000 points and 900 rebounds. Murphy’s career numbers currently rank him seventh all-time in both scoring and rebounding. In 47 career BIG EAST outings, he averaged 21.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
He led Notre Dame in scoring and rebounds in each of his three seasons. Murphy averaged 21.8 points and 9.2 rebounds as a junior, 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in his junior year and 19.2 points and 9.9 boards as a freshman.
The Morristown, New Jersey, native, shared BIG EAST Player of the Year honors with Troy Bell of Boston College in 2001 after earning the conference’s top honor in 2000. He joined an elite group of four players–Chris Mullin (St. John’s), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) and Richard Hamilton (Connecticut)–as the only two-time winners of the award.
He was named to the John R. Wooden Award All-America Team for the second consecutive year as a junior and finished fifth in the balloting for the Wooden Award in 2001. Murphy also was among the top three finalists for the Naismith player-of-the-year honor that same year. He is the only player in conference history to win player-of-the-year and rookie-of-the-year accolades in consecutive seasons.
Murphy became just the fifth player in Notre Dame history to score more than 2,000 career points when he reached that milestone in his junior season. He also became the second player in BIG EAST history to lead the conference in scoring in back-to-back campaigns (1999-2000 and 2000-01) and the first to average a double-double–21.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in conference play–when he recorded that feat during his sophomore season in 1999-2000.
Murphy declared for the 2001 National Basketball Association draft following his junior season and was the 14th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors. He played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in November 2012. Murphy saw action in 729 contests during his career and averaged 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He’s currently living in New York City and finishing his degree requirements at Columbia University.
Former Irish standout Pat Garrity, the 1997 BIG EAST Player of the Year, was honored in 2014 as Notre Dame’s ACC Legend.
Thirteen former players and a pair of record-setting coaches headlined this year’s class, including two national players of the year, a Final Four MVP, seven players who earned conference player of the year honors and a pair of ACC Tournament MVP honorees. Collectively, the group combined to make eight NCAA Final Four appearances and capture 10 ACC Tournament titles. The two coaches in this year’s class owned a combined 971 wins in 51 collegiate seasons.
Also honored in Greensboro this year along with Murphy were Malcolm Huckaby (Boston College, 1990-94), Horace Grant (Clemson, 1983-87), Shane Battier (Duke, 1997-2001), Doug Edwards (Florida State, 1990-93), Bobby Cremins (Georgia Tech head coach, 1982-2000), Junior Bridgeman (Louisville, 1972-75), Darius Rice (Miami, 2000-04), Franklin “Rusty” Clark (North Carolina, 1966-69), Vinny Del Negro (North Carolina State, 1984-88), Billy Knight (Pittsburgh, 1971-74), Donald Hand (Virginia, 1997-01), Charlie Moir (Virginia Tech head coach 1976-87) and Dave Budd (Wake Forest, 1956-60). Derrick Coleman of Syracuse (1986-90) also was selected, but he opted to defer his honor. Edwards, currently a South Carolina assistant coach, was not on hand today due to his team’s participation in the SEC Tournament.
Two of the other inductees noted their Notre Dame ties. Grant’s nephew is current Irish senior standout Jerian Grant. Hand talked about being recruited to Virginia by then-Cavalier assistant and current Notre Dame assistant coach Anthony Solomon.
Representing Notre Dame athletics at the luncheon were vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick and Irish athletics administrators John Heisler, Brian Pracht and Bernie Cafarelli, along with Scott Correira from Notre Dame Sports Properties.