That was evident by his own and his new coach’s admission that he needs to work on both ends of his game — offense and defense — prior to his recent signing with Roane State Community College in Woodland’s media center.
“He [Greg] has worked very hard to improve his basketball abilities and give himself the best opportunity to continue his dream of playing basketball in college,” Woodland coach John Howard said. “We will always be thankful for his hard work and leadership.”
Located in Harriman, Tenn., the Raiders play in the Eastern Division of the Tennessee Junior College Association (TJCA). Andy Landers, coach of the Georgia’s women’s basketball team, got his start coaching at Roane State.
“I want to work on my footwork and dribbling,” said Murphy as he nervously waited for the signing ceremony to begin.
“He [Greg] has raw talent that needs to developed,” added coach Randy Nesbit, who has spent 21 seasons as the Raiders’ men’s basketball coach. “We’ll be spending quite of number of hours working on his 3-point shooting and playing a post defense. Having watched him play [at AAU tournaments], I envision him working hard to make himself a better basketball player.”
Which will go far in rebuilding the 6-foot, 5-inch, 18-year-old’s confidence that went AWOL during his senior year as the Wildcats’ team captain.
During his junior year, he could do no wrong during a season in which Woodland finished 26-3 overall. Then came the departure of coach Mike Tobin and subsequent loss of guard Corey Tobin, both of whom would experience tremendous success with the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes the following season. While the Canes flourished, Murphy often looked lost in trying to adapt to a new coach and a new system.
“It was really frustrating,” Murphy said. “We didn’t do well record wise, and there were several times I wanted to voice my opinion. But I didn’t want our team turning into a bunch of complainers.”
The Wildcats would finish the season 11-13 overall, losing three of their final four games.
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