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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Murphy takes job with Nuggets

    Jack Murphy
    Jack Murphy

    When Jack Murphy accepted a promotion to coordinator of basketball operations at Arizona earlier this year, he called it an opportunity “”he never would have imagined.””

    On Wednesday, Murphy accepted a different opportunity – video coordinator for the Denver Nuggets – that will bring him closer to the on-court coaching position he has always desired.

    “”It was really difficult, but in talking with (UA head) coach (Lute) Olson and talking with different people around, the opportunity the Nuggets have presented doesn’t come around very often,”” Murphy said.

    A couple of weeks ago, the Nuggets vice president of basketball operations, Mark Warkentien, contacted Murphy about his interest in the job. Murphy, who’s been with the Wildcats in several roles for more than eight years, interviewed and eventually accepted the role.

    “”When I thought about the fact that there’s 30 teams in the NBA – some teams have two video guys and some teams have only one – so you’re looking at a max of 60 of these jobs in the world, and to get in as a guy who has never played in the NBA is very difficult,”” Murphy said.

    Tomorrow, the newest member of the Denver Nuggets will be “”thrown into the fire””- at least according to him – when Murphy arrives at the Pepsi Center for his first day in the NBA and flies with the Nuggets to training camp in Durango, Colo., later that night.

    At Arizona, Murphy handled travel plans, meals on the road, recruiting and academics, along with his other duties of scouting and breaking down video.

    As a member of the Nuggets staff, Murphy will focus on the latter two tasks in addition to “”getting on the floor with the coaching staff,”” a job he couldn’t do at Arizona because of NCAA rules. He will also be a part of coaching meetings and have the ability to work with players, some of whom, including Nene and Ricky Sanchez, he worked with over the summer.

    “”I really get hands-on coachingwise, which is my ultimate goal,”” he said.

    The Wildcats have yet to name a replacement for the position, which was manned by Reggie Geary for one year prior to Murphy. Geary also left to take an on-court coaching position with the Anaheim Arsenal of the National Basketball Developmental League.

    “”We’re going to miss Jack greatly, he’s an unbelievable worker, he made a huge difference in our program,”” assistant coach Josh Pastner said. “”He was the man behind the scenes doing so much.””

    Alabi picks Florida State

    Solomon Alabi, a 7-foot-1 center from Montverde Academy in Florida, visited Arizona two weeks ago but chose Florida State over Virginia and the Wildcats.

    Alabi, who played in the Cactus Classic in Tucson over the summer, would have been Arizona’s sixth recruit in the 2007 class if he had committed.

    “”All the three schools told me about how strongly they need me, how they need my height,”” Alabi told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday. “”All the colleges, they’re all saying the same thing about (playing time). It depends on me, and I decided what would be good for me.””

    Budinger on the mend

    Freshman Chase Budinger returned to practice on Wednesday after having his tonsils removed.

    Pastner said Budinger “”lost some pounds,”” and it “”may take him a little time to get the rust off, but he’ll be fine.””

    Jacobson in town

    Seven-foot center Alex Jacobson, who committed to Arizona last October, was in Tucson this weekend and took in the football team’s 21-10 loss next to Arizona walk-on David Bagga, who went to Jacobson’s high school, Mater Dei, in Santa Ana, Calif.

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