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Jazz take Tennessee Tech guard Murphy with 47th pick

Jazz take Tennessee Tech guard Murphy with 47th pick

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Jazz selected Tennessee Tech guard Kevin Murphy on Thursday night with the 47th overall pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-7 Murphy averaged 20.6 points and 5.2 rebounds last season as a senior.

Utah is hoping this pick works out as well as No. 47 has in previous years when the Jazz selected forward Paul Millsap in 2006 and guard Mo Williams in 2003.

Kevin Murphy
Position Guard
Height 6'6"
Weight 185 lbs
Birthplace Fairburn, GA
Previous School Tennessee Tech
Key Statistics - 2011-12 Season at Tennessee Tech
Points/Game (PPG)21.1
Rebounds/Game (RPG)5.3
Blocks (BLK)7
Assists/Game (APG)2.3

Millsap has been the heart and soul of the Jazz and averaged 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds last season. And Williams, who could be headed back to the Jazz as part of a three-team deal, was an All-Star as recently as 2009.

The Jazz were without a first-round pick for the first time since 1994.

Murphy scored 2,019 points, with 535 rebounds and 248 assists during his four-year career at Tennessee Tech.

He became just the 16th player in Ohio Valley Conference history to score 2,000 career points.

He scored 30 or more four times, 20 or more 11 times and finished last season ranked. No. 4 in the conference in 3-point shooting at nearly 42 percent.

The Jazz were in need of a 3-point shooter as they hit just .323 as a team - 27th in the league.

Utah had to wait nearly four hours to make its selection because it had no first-round pick.

Utah's own pick, No. 18, went to Minnesota as part of a 2011 deal for center Al Jefferson. Another first-round pick was top-seven protected and Golden State used it Thursday to select North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes.

The Jazz have had luck with second-rounders. Four players on last year's final roster were second-rounders - C.J. Miles (No. 34 in 2005), Millsap (No. 47 in 2006), Jeremy Evans (No. 55 in 2010) and Earl Watson (No. 39 by Seattle in 2001).

The Jazz are coming off a season in which they surprised some by finishing above .500 (36-30) and reaching the playoffs. But after being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, there is plenty of room for improvement

There was talk Utah might try to move up to grab a local star such as Weber State guard Damian Lillard, or another lottery pick. But the Jazz already have a talented young core in place with Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter - all lottery picks and all 22 or younger.

And they have several talented veterans, notably Millsap and Jefferson, which gives them the ability to go with a big lineup if they want.

If the trade goes through Friday for Williams from the Los Angeles Clippers, the Jazz will have another veteran with nearly 600 career games under his belt and scoring ability.

Click HERE for a full scouting report on Kevin Murphy.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Lynn DeBruin


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