April 10, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior forward Troy Murphy (Morristown, N.J.) has announced that he will declare himself eligible for the 2001 National Basketball Association draft on June 27.
Murphy does not plan to hire an agent. An underclassman who declares early can return to school and pull his name from the draft on or before June 20 (one week prior to the draft) if he doesn't sign with an agent.
The 6-11 junior becomes the first Irish underclassman since Adrian Dantley to declare himself eligible for the NBA draft. Dantley left after three seasons (1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76) and was the sixth pick overall in the 1976 draft. The only other Notre Dame player to pass up a final season of eligibility was Gary Brokaw, who played for the Irish in 1972-73 and 1973-74 (he was the 18th pick overall in the '74 draft).
Murphy led the Irish in scoring and rebounding for the third consecutive season in 2000-01 as he averaged 21.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. A consensus All-American the past two seasons, he became the first player since Dantley to earn consensus All-America honors in consecutive campaigns. Murphy shared BIG EAST Player of the Year honors with Troy Bell of Boston College this season and joined an elite group of four players - Chris Mullin (St. John's), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) and Richard Hamilton (Connecticut) - as the only two-time winners of the award. He was named to the John R. Award All-America Team for the second straight year, finished fifth in the balloting for the Wooden Award and was among the three finalists for the Naismith player-of-the-year honor. A first-team all- BIG EAST selection each of the past two seasons, Murphy also was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 1999.
Murphy is just the fifth player in Notre Dame history to score more than 2,000 career points and ranks fifth all-time on the career scoring list with 2,011 points. He also is the only Irish player to score more than 2,000 points and grab more than 900 rebounds (924) in 94 career games. He owns career averages of 21.4 points and 9.8 rebounds and has scored in double figures in 92 of 94 contests.
Statement from Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey:
"I'm extremely supportive of the decision Troy has made and I think that this is a very logical step for him to take in this whole process. Last year he didn't exercise this option, but I think he feels very comfortable with the decision he has made, knowing that he has the opportunity to pull his name out of the draft pool before a June 20 deadline.
"Troy is doing the smart thing by not hiring an agent so that he can preserve his amateur status. The legislation which the NCAA adopted several years ago is really beneficial to underclassmen like Troy because it gives them more options and, more importantly, time before coming to a final decision. With my help, Troy is going to explore more of those options and get additional input from NBA scouts.
"Whatever ultimate decision Troy makes, everyone associated with the Notre Dame program is going to support him. He has been extremely helpful to me and my coaching staff. Troy's contributions, successes and leadership have helped put this program back on the college basketball map."
Statement from Notre Dame junior forward Troy Murphy:
"This is something that I've thought a great deal about since the season ended. I feel that I owe it to myself to pursue this option. I've discussed my future with some agents, and although I haven't signed with one, I feel that it is best to take advantage of this opportunity. I will not be attending any pre-draft camps, but I will be working out for various teams."