From TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tennessee – The impact Kevin Murphy had on Tennessee Tech’s men’s basketball program during his four-year career from 2008 to 2012 can hardly be doubted. A starter almost immediately from the day he set foot in Cookeville, Atlanta, Georgia, established himself as one of the all-time top scorers in school history.
An all-time record holder with 128 games played, he made a whopping 110 starts (fourth in team history) and became only the second player in school history to surpass 2,000 career points and finish with 2,109, just 87 fewer than Earl Wise. His 681 points scored during the 2011–12 season was ranked as Golden Eagle’s third-most all-time.
This senior season was highlighted by the largest single point total in program history, a 50-point breakout above SIUE ahead of tech believers. The performance broke a more than 50-year-old record of 48 points set by Jimmy Hagan in February 1959 and equalized by Ron Filipek in February 1966.
He is one of five inductees into the 48th class of the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Along with Murphy, David Collett (football, 1998-2001), Tacarra Hayes Barnes (women’s basketball, 2008-12), Ottis Phillips (football/fan, since 1969) and Dave Pratt (baseball/men’s basketball, 1964-67). ) will be introduced during the annual Hall of Fame Dinner Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Roaden University Center Multipurpose Room. Dinner tickets are available by calling (931) 372-3940, the Eblen Center ticket office, or TTUsports.com.
After averaging 9.6 points as a true freshman, he continued to improve each season, raising his pointing average to 15.3 points as a sophomore, 17.0 points as a junior, and a whopping 20.6 points as a senior, making the 10th placeth nationally in the 2011/12 season. In his final season, he also shot a career-best 41.6 percent from 3-point range and ranked in the top 10 in season history.
Rounding out his time in Cookeville with 3,718 minutes in his career (third-highest mark in program history), he also ranked in the top 10 for a career in field goals made (706 – 4th), field goal attempts (1,594 – 3rd). ), 3-point field goals made (191 – 7th), 3-point field goal attempts (515 – 7th), free throws made (416 – 6th), free throw attempts (568 – 6th), 20-point Games (39 – fourth) and 30-point games (seven – fourth).
As a junior and senior, Murphy led the Golden Eagles to two of the program’s seven total postseason appearances, invitations to CIT in 2011 and 2012. He also led Tech to only his third appearance in the OVC postseason tournament title game, a close Losing to eventual champions Morehead State in 2011.
For his on-court efforts, Murphy was a two-time All-OVC First Team member in 2010-11 and 2011-12, as well as an OVC All-Newcomer Team rookie in 2008-09. He was twice named to the OVC All-Tournament Team as a junior and senior and also received NABC All-District honors in both years. Following his senior campaign, he was selected to compete in the Reese’s College All-Star Game and became only the second Golden Eagle to receive All-Tournament honors at the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
After his glittering career, Murphy became the third-best and ninth NBA draft pick in program history, hit in the second round with the 47th Overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. He played 17 games with the Jazz as a rookie and made his pro debut on October 31, 2012. On January 28, 2013, he scored a career-high nine points in a contest against Houston.
The next summer, he was involved in a three-team trade that sent him to the Golden State Warriors. After playing in the NBA Summer League in 2013, he was released and played professionally abroad in France before returning to the United States in January 2014 for a spot in the NBA D-League’s Idaho Stampede.
He was named to the All-NBA D-League First Team in 2014 after averaging 25.5 points per game. He also broke the Stampede’s all-time scoring record that same season with 51 points, nearly two years to the day after he set Tech’s record.
After the 2013–14 season, he spent some time playing professionally again abroad in the 2017–18 season in China, Japan, Croatia, Turkey and the Philippines. During that time, he scored a career-high 67 points in a competition for Guangxi in the Chinese National Basketball League. Murphy also spent portions of the 2014-15 season at two NBA D-League clubs.
In 2016-17, he played 45 games for the D-League’s Grand Rapids Drive, averaging 23.1 points per game. He returned to the league for the 2021-22 season as a member of the NBA G League Ignite, a development team affiliated with the newly renamed NBA G League.
Since 2021, he has competed for the 3 Headed Monsters of BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip-hop musician and actor Ice Cube. The league consists of 12 teams with former NBA players and international players. Drafted seventh overall in the 2021 draft, he won the BIG3 Rookie of the Year trophy after finishing fourth in the league at 20.4 points per game. He upped the ante in his sophomore year in the league, winning BIG3 MVP and being named the Too Hard To Guard player for the 2022 season after averaging 25.9 points per game.
Murphy graduated from Tech in Spring 2012 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.