Originally written on SCACC Hoops  |  Last updated 11/18/14

It came as a bit of a surprise, at least to me, when I saw that Duke redshirt freshman Alex Murphy will be play for the U-20 Finnish National Team.  For one I had no idea Murphy or his family was of Finnish decent, but apparently his mother, Paivi, played on Finland's national team from 1988-94 and also played professionally in Sweden.

Murphy got to learn a lot while redshirting last year. There has been much debate among Duke fans as to how good he is really going to be. Some feel that if he were really as good as Mike Krzyzewski has said, then he shouldn't have redshirted.

In fact Krzyzewski had said he felt Murphy could be a potential four year starter and All-ACC caliber player.  High praise from the greatest coach in the game. Still he was redshirted his freshman year.

Many feel that an early season concussion which forced him to miss early practice time helped the coaching staff and Murphy come to the conclusion that a redshirt would be the most viable option for him.

But he apparently grew a lot over the course of his redshirt season and now is good enough to be playing for Finland U-20 National Team.

The opportunities to play internationally should only improve Murphy's game and provide him with some actual game experience this summer heading into the fall.  Murphy is likely going to be competing for a starting position on the wing and due to depth issues, he should at the very least see substantial playing time.

He has a reputation for having a good jump shot and a good athlete that can run the floor and finish in transition. Most who have seen him in practice feel that he could have added a different aspect to last year's team.

That aspect will certainly be needed for next year's team. And I suspect Murphy will be a big part of that and his experience playing for Finland will only help facilitate that role going forward.

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