Waking the Echoes: Troy Murphy inducted to Ring of Honor
Marek Mazurek | Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Notre Dame added an eighth name to its Ring of Honor on Saturday when former Irish forward Troy Murphy was inducted during halftime of Notre Dame’s win over Boston College.
During his time at Notre Dame, Murphy was a two-time Big East Player of the Year and finished his career fifth on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list with 2,011 points. Murphy averaged 21.4 points and 9.8 rebounds over the course of his three years with the team and led the Irish to a Big East West Division title.
“It’s a great honor to be in such a select group of players and coaches,” Murphy said. “It’s something I’m really happy to be a part of.”
In Murphy’s last season with the team, he led the Irish to their first NCAA tournament in 11 years. The team seemed to be on the upswing under first-year head coach Mike Brey, but Murphy elected to leave the team after his junior season and was selected as the 14th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
“Unfortunately, with the way the NBA goes, you almost get penalized for staying,” Murphy said. “They had a lot of high school kids that came out. There were five or six that came out my year that were drafted ahead of me and it was based on potential and at that time, the longer you stayed in college, the farther back you fell. I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go and I thought the time was right and I went for it.”
Murphy went on to play in the NBA for 12 seasons with six NBA teams and averaged 10.8 points per game over the course of his career. Despite his long professional career, Murphy still remembers his first and last games at Notre Dame.
“I remember the first game was against Miami of Ohio,” Murphy said. “We played against Wally Szczerbiak, he was killing us. The last game I think we lost to Mississippi in the NCAA. So it was a great experience. I really enjoyed it, had a great time. I have some fabulous memories.”
Murphy’s Ring of Honor-worthy statistics are not the only unusual part of Murphy’s career. Murphy first came to Notre Dame in 1999, in head coach John MacLeod’s final season. The next year was Matthew Doherty’s first, and only, at the helm and the team went 22-15 and reached the finals of the NIT tournament. Murphy’s final season at Notre Dame was Mike Brey’s first and Murphy said he benefited from playing under three different coaches.
“It was unusual, but I enjoyed playing for each guy, and I think it got me ready to actually play in the NBA, adjust to different systems, things like that,” Murphy said. “Playing in different offensive schemes and for different personalities I think was something that really benefitted me. Coach Doherty ran pretty much the Carolina stuff, Coach MacLeod ran a [pro-style system], quick-hitting things, and Coach Brey just let us play. Beyond the offensive schemes, different personalities were something that you adjust to and something that I think helped me in the long run.”
After Murphy retired from the NBA in 2013, he went back to school and received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Columbia University.
“I wanted to finish up my degree, that was my priority for me when I finished playing,” Murphy said. “Difficult for me to do while I was playing. Just at that point in my life, I was living in New York, it seemed like a better fit at the time.”
And though Murphy is now retired, he said he gets excited whenever he comes back to Notre Dame.
“Seeing coach Brey with practice … it’s been great, it’s been a lot of fun catching up with everybody.” Murphy said. “It’s pretty awesome to be here and see all this new stuff. Inside the Purcell Pavilion and outside.”