09 Recruiting Q&A: Erik Murphy

One of three prospects in the class of 2009 currently holding a scholarship offer from the Blue Devils, St. Mark's School (Mass.) standout Erik Murphy has seen his recruiting process intensify over the last two months. TDD spoke with Murphy on Wednesday to get the latest.

TDD: 10 up and four down so far for your high school team, with some big time games against Worcester, Bridgton Academy and Blair Academy. Overall, how is the team feeling and progressing?

Erik Murphy: We weren't real happy about a couple of our losses -- they were winnable games for us -- so we were frustrated with that, but we definitely learned about the level of intensity we have to bring each night.

What's your measurables right now?

I'm 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds.

Going to school in Massachusetts, are you a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan?

Big time Red Sox Nation Fan. My whole family has been Red Sox fans since I was a little kid. It was great watching them win the World Series again this year.

At last check, you had set a list of seven colleges you were interested in. Specifically, what factors allowed these schools to make the final cut?

Florida: they like to run on offense, which I really like, plus Coach Donovan is just a good guy in general.

Boston College: That's kinda like the hometown school you know, I really like Boston a lot, and they are always one of the toughest teams.

Connecticut: They aren't as high on my list, they are primarily there because they seem to put a lot of big men in the pros. Plus, Coach Calhoun is a Boston guy too.

Duke: I really like Duke because they seem to be getting back to running like they used to on offense, plus, Coach K, he's just like a…a presence, you know ?? They are the face of college basketball and are on tv a lot, which I really like also. Plus, they've had some good big men in their program like Boozer and McRoberts, which I like.

Ohio State: They are kinda like the hot team lately, with Greg Oden and all the bigtime recruits they've been getting, I've heard their facilities are really nice too, like Florida's.

Marquette: Tom Crean is just such a nice guy whenever I talk with him, the program is always known for being a tough minded program and I just have a lot of respect for them.

UVA: Academically they have a big time reputation, like Duke as well, plus Coach Leiteo is really working hard with me, they are one of the most hardest pursuers right now.

With Marquette and Duke on your final list, did you watch their Maui Invitational Game from November? What were your thoughts?

I thought it was a really good game, real battle on both ends, I thought both programs showed how tough they really are.

What teams have beenthe most visible and/or keeping in close communication with you since you finalized your list?

I'd have to say the programs recruiting me the hardest are UVA, Florida, Duke and Marquette, they constantly send me and my family mail at school and back home in Rhode Island. Those programs have made sure that they are calling me as much as the rules allow, and I've talked with the head coaches of each program several times.

Are you calling/emailing/texting anybody on a regular basis?

Well, it's kinda hard for me to do that now that the season has started up, with our travel schedule and the like, I just primarily call programs if I have a question, which I've done with pretty much everybody on my list.

Who's the most creative in their recruiting approach?

Nobody has done anything that's too out of the ordinary, I've seen different coaches like Coach K, Coach Donovan, Coach Skinner and Coach Leiteo and different assistant coaches at my games. Other than that, they just send mail and talk with me when they can, which I kinda like.

In terms of fit for you with a college program, talk about what you're looking for with the following areas:

Playing style and big man utilization: I'm looking to be a face up 4, ball in hands, really want to fun the floor. I like the idea of playing with another big man, kinda play off each other.

Team Dynamics: I'm looking for a family type relationship. I mean, I understand that families have arguments happen sometimes in families, but I want to be on a team that is close, you know?

Coaching Staff Relationship: I want a coach who can be like a father figure to me, but who can also coach me to the highest level, I want him to push me to grow as a player and a person.

Academic and Social Interests: I haven't decided yet what degree program I am interested in, but I do know that I enjoy learning about Business a lot, that'll probably be something I look at.

It's been speculated that while you have a list of seven that you are interested in, there are several programs that hold a higher spot than others. In addition It's been speculated that teams like Duke have a lot of ground to make up in your recruitment, is that accurate?

No, I don't think that's really accurate, I mean, obviously since I've visited Florida before, people are going to assume that I'm a lock there, but I'm not, I like all the programs on my list equally, and they all seem to play the style that I am looking for.

Are you looking to go into a program that has a lot of big men already committed or on the roster, or are you looking to be a central part of the frontcourt?

You know, I just want to go where I'm most comfortable. I'm ok with going into a situation where a team has a lot of guys in the post, but I'm also ok going into a place that doesn't have as many guys in the post. I'm just looking to go a place where I get a chance to play, I want to have an impact when I go to college.

Now that the college season is into conference matchups, are you setting up visits to anybody unofficially, or watching them on ESPN?

Not right now, at the earliest I'll set up visits is March, more than likely over the Spring is when I'll visit more schools, right now it's so hard with my school schedule to make unofficial visits, since we have half days of classes on Saturdays.

Focusing on Duke for a minute, what are your impressions of the program?

Well, Coach K has been up for a game, when we played Worcester Academy, he was front and center for that game. Other than that, me and Coach K have talked several times over the phone and I get a lot of mail from them. They are definitely one of the teams who has ramped up their interest in me the past 3-4 months, they are working very hard with me, which I sincerely appreciate.

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