Alex Murphy is headed to Duke.
The 6-foot-8 St. Mark’s (Mass.) junior forward gave Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski a verbal commitment on Sunday night, opting for Duke over Florida and Boston College.
Murphy, ranked 11th in the country by Scout.com, is the younger brother of Gators sophomore forward Erik Murphy and he strongly considered joining his brother in Gainesville.
However, he was blown away on an unofficial visit to Durham last month.
``Ultimately, it came down to my relationship with Coach K,” Murphy said. ``I went down last year and visited earlier this year and just felt at home. I felt comfortable with the players and coaches – and felt like there’s no better place. It was clear to me.”
Murphy is a skilled and athletic forward who has been compared to a combination of current Blue Devils star Kyle Singler and former Duke standout Mike Dunleavy Jr., now playing with the Indiana Pacers in the NBA.
Murphy emerged as an elite player last summer while playing for the New England Playaz and showcased his versatile game – which includes the ability to get to the rim and finish, score in transition and also make shots from mid-range and beyond the arc. The area that the 185-pound Murphy needs to work on the most is gaining strength.
Murphy said the most difficult part of the decision was informing Florida coach Billy Donovan that he wouldn’t be joining his brother in Gainesville.
``They started recruiting me before anyone else,” Murphy said. ``I had such a good relationship with Coach Donovan, obviously my brother, and a lot of their players. That was hard for me. It basically came down to them and Duke.”
Murphy’s pledge is Duke’s first in the Class of 2012.