While it's never difficult to coax an honest effort out of the gritty wing, the move to Harmony has been an adjustment. According to Harmony coach Mark Metzka, Murphy has begun to hit his stride.
"Nick had a great AAU season," said Metzka. "Coming here, he had to adjust to the style of play from AAU. But he's made the adjustment and he's doing very well."
Murphy cemented his reputation as a maximum effort guy playing with the Long Island Lightning this summer, helping Dana Dingle's crew to an impressive run at Las Vegas Big Time. The lefty has a blue collar streak, and will hustle boards with zeal, play physical, and wreak havoc defensively.
Nick is a disruptive influence who'll rack up deflections and patrol the passing lanes. As he continues to add polish to his game and improve his jumper, his stock will only rise.
Harmony will look to Murphy to make things happen, particularly when play stagnates.
"He guards the other team's best player, and sometimes, if we're playing small, he'll go down and guard a four-man," said Metzka. "Nick is a guy we look to to bring energy and to get a lot of takeaways. He plays the passing lanes well and is very active."
Metzka says that of New Yorkers in his program (Brian Williams and Tim Zephyr are the others), Murphy has the most work to do academically. However, a couple of schools are monitoring his progress.
"The main guys on Nick are Toledo and Jacksonville State," said Metzka. "Those are the schools that have been on him the hardest as far as I know."
Murphy turned in a strong showing at the second session of the Eastern Invitational Camp in July, and with his scrappiness and resiliency played a big part in shaping the personality of his Lightning team. As his season progresses, we expect him to prove his worth for Harmony just the same.