LITTLE ROCK — It was almost five months ago when the Arkansas Razorbacks employed a stifling defense during a 91-43 romp at home in the season opener against Rice, and now that Owls’ sophomore Trey Murphy III has entered the transfer portal it appears as though the Hogs’ coaching staff led by Eric Musselman is putting on a full-court press for the talented wing’s services.
Murphy (6-8, 200, native of Durham, N.C.) said he’s already been in contact with three Arkansas coaches since entering the portal on Saturday.
“I’ve talked to (Corey) Williams, Muss, and (Chris) Crutchfield,” Murphy said. “They have reached out and I am interested.”
Murphy said he’s also heard from Arizona, Texas, Xavier, Houston, Stanford, Iowa State, DePaul, Cincinnati, Arizona state, Creighton, UConn, BYU, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Villanova among others.
Murphy (sit one, play two) started in 23 of 29 games in ’19-20 and averaged 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 30.2 minutes while shooting 43.4% from the field (including 75-of-204 from 3 for 36.8%) and 82.4% from the free throw line for a Rice team that finished 15-17 overall (including 7-11 for 12th place in Conference USA). He scored in double figures in all but 4 of the 29 games that he played in during his sophomore season, and he scored 20 or more points 6 times.
Against the Hogs on opening day for college basketball (Nov. 5), Murphy played 30 minutes and finished with 7 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 block in the lopsided loss.
“I’ll never forget that game,” Murphy said.
With no schools currently in the lead to land him, Murphy said whichever program he eventually chooses will be getting “3 level scoring and energy.”
As a freshman in ’18-19, Murphy started once in 32 games and averaged 8.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.6 minutes while shooting 44.2% from the field (including 64-of-152 from 3 for 42.1%) and 72.5% from the fee throw line.
* According to reporting by Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com, Arkansas is one of 8 schools recruiting Rhode Island sophomore transfer Tyrese Martin the hardest, a list that includes Oregon, Louisville, Creighton, Seton Hall, UConn, Georgia, and Ole Miss … Martin (6-6, 205, guard) averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 43.3% on field goals (including 32.1% from 3) and 66.2% on free throws … sit one, play two.
* According to reporting by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Arkansas is among the schools that has reached out to Northern Kentucky grad-transfer Jalen Tate (6-6, 170, guard), who started 20 of 22 games and averaged 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals in 30.2 minutes while shooting 48.5% fron the field (including 18.2% ffrom 3) and 67.6% from the free thow line … Tate was DNP when Northern Kentucky lost at Arkansas, 66-60, on Nov. 30 … in addition to the Hogs, Rothstein reports that Tate has heard from Cincinnati, Xavier, Wichita State, Ohio, Utah State, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Duquesne, and Tulane … one season of immediate playing eligibility in ’20-21.