VANCOUVER – Now that Jordan Murphy is the Gophers’ career leading rebounder, he has his sights set on other big goals.
Murphy broke Mychal Thompson’s Minnesota rebounding record in Tuesday’s victory against Santa Clara, but he has almost an entire season left to push that mark even farther.
“There’s plenty more rebounds to get this season,” said Murphy, who has 972 for his career after grabbing 11 boards in Wednesday’s 68-66 victory against Washington. “They look for me to rebound my tail off, so that’s just something I look to do every day. To break the record is an accomplishment. It’s another notch, but now I have to look forward to my next goal: hopefully get to that 1,000-mark and go from there.”
Thompson’s record was set from 1975-78, so there’s no telling how long and by how much Murphy will be on top of the record books by the time his senior year is over. Only 13 players in Big Ten history have reached the 1,000-rebound mark, including former Ohio State All-America Jerry Lucas’ league record 1,411 rebounds from 1959-62.
Former Michigan State star Draymond Green was the last to enter that prestigious club by finishing with 1,096 rebounds in 2012, which ranks fourth all-time and the most since 1981.
Entering Wednesday’s game against Washington in Vancouver, Murphy was leading the Big Ten with 12.8 rebounds per game. His scoring average is down from 16.8 points last season to 13.0 this season, but he was averaging a career-best 4.5 assists through four games.
He’s not only a rebounder anymore.
“Being able to have that in my arsenal to find guys for open looks is something I’m working on more and more,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, the more they keep trapping, I can find my teammates wide open.”
Dad in the stands
It isn’t a big deal anymore to Richard Pitino when his father comes to watch the Gophers.
Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino was excited, though, to see Minnesota play for the first time this season. Maybe he was a good-luck charm with the U going 3-0 in the Vancouver Showcase.
“After everything that happened with injuries and all that last season,” Rick Pitino said, “It’s nice to finally have some things start to go their way. I think they really looked good in Vancouver.”