Erik Murphy: Eventful Weekend

Erik Murphy went down to North Carolina last weekend to support his New England Playaz teammates. The skilled rising junior forward wasn't able to play due to a knee injury, but he was still able to get plenty done - off the court.

Erik Murphy wasn't allowed to play because of a knee injury, but the weekend couldn't have gone much better.

The 6-foot-9 ¾ (as measured by North Carolina coach Roy Williams), 210-pound skilled sophomore forward was able to take a close look at Duke and UNC over the weekend while he was a spectator watching his New England Playaz teammates at the Tournament of Champions.

Murphy took a visit to both schools prior to the start of the tournament. He toured Duke with assistants Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins.

``They took me through the basketball facility," Murphy said. "They showed me video of Wojo and also of (Mike) Dunleavy and Christian (Laettner)."

``The visit was nice," he added. "I like the campus."

Murphy also got to see Chapel Hill, courtesy of a tour from Tar Heels assistant Joe Holladay.

``I was there for about an hour and walked around and was able to see the offices and facilities," Murphy said.

Murphy, who grew up in Rhode Island and plays at St. Mark's in Southboro, Mass., was blown away by the passion in the area by Duke and UNC fans.

``Everywhere you look, there are Duke and North Carolina stickers," he said.

Murphy returned to UNC after his team, which was coached by his father (former BC star Jay Murphy), had been eliminated. This time he got an opportunity to meet with Tar Heels coach Roy Williams.

``It was good," Murphy said. "He was cool. I didn't know he was that Southern."

Murphy was once considered a lock to choose from his dad's alma mater and UConn. However, things have heated up since he has become a priority for several national powers.

Murphy is hoping to take an unofficial visit to Virginia in the next month and also mentioned Syracuse (offer), Florida (offer), Marquette (offer), Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.

``I'd like to narrow it down to eight schools or so when the summer ends in August," he said.

While he does much of his damage in the post in the spring and summer, Murphy is also more than capable of stepping out and making shots from the perimeter.

While his father still has an inch or so and a few pounds on Erik, these days it's the son who has the upper hand when the two match up on the court.

``He can't beat me anymore," Murphy laughs. "But it's competitive. He throws me around."

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