Preston Murphy, Jr. to DePaul
Preston Murphy, Jr., (left) has committed to play at DePaul
Preston Murphy, Jr., the son of the former University of Rhode Island star guard, has committed to play his college basketball at DePaul, KevinMcSports has learned.
Murphy is a member of the Class of 2022 and set for his junior season at St. Andrew’s in Barrington.
“It was just the right place for me at this time,” Murphy said Sunday. “Coach (Dave) Leitao has been talking to me for a while now and I believe in his vision for the program at DePaul.”
Murphy is a 6-1 point guard who played a key role for a Saints team that advanced to the NEPSAC semifinals last year. He is set for a substantially larger role this coming season, but that’s if the NEPSAC allows its teams to play.
“We are looking forward to playing,” said St. Andrew’s coach Mike Hart,” and Preston is looking at a big year. He’s become more of a point guard now, although he is a very good scorer. He’s improved defensively at that position and the thing about him is he has two full seasons left before he heads off to college.”
Murphy said that he considered several schools, including URI, but felt a close bond with Leitao, who hails from nearby New Bedford.
“It’s just the confidence they have in me,” Murphy said. “Coach tells me that they need someone to replace Charlie Moore. He’s a play-making guard that can score and I can come in and fill that spot.”
Murphy’s father, Preston, has been a collegiate assistant coach for 16 years at URI, Boston College and Creighton. He said the work Leitao did forming a bond with his son was critical in the recruitment.
“Dave was really instrumental,” he said. “When the head coach spends a lot of time with you and really recruits you and talks about need and fit it really makes an impact.”
DePaul has struggled for years in the Big East but is making headway under Leitao. Blue Demon forward Paul Reed left the program early and is a candidate to go in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. Moore is projected as one of the top guards in the Big East this season and sophomore Romeo Weems is a rising star in the league.