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Stampede Guard Kevin Murphy Discusses Role With Team, Loss of Pierre Jackson and Connection With Dee Bost

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D-League standout Kevin Murphy recently spoke with Ridiculous Upside about his role with the Stampede following the departure of Pierre Jackson, connection with Dee Bost and the importance that the D-League has on unknown prospects from mid-major schools.

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

On a day-by-day basis in the NBADL, D-League teams are affected by a variety of different roster moves. One of the contributing factors to the constant roster changes in the NBADL is pointed towards international teams paying top-flight money to acquire D-League talent. Though the D-League remains the best stage for a player with dreams of getting an opportunity in The Association, the NBADL still has an extremely small pay scale compared to some of the more well-known international leagues

While it isn't as common as trades or signings out of the D-League player pool, the "international buyout" is probably the most pressing matter that an NBADL team has to deal with during the season.

One of the biggest examples of such (this season) occurred in Idaho.

While the recent Pierre Jackson buyout to Turkey still remains one of the bigger D-League stories, this isn't exactly the team's first time having to deal with this type of scenario. In mid-January, Idaho forward and potential 10-day call-up candidate Richard Howell was bought out of his contract to play for a top-notch team in the Philippines

While Howell's departure from Idaho is clearly in the team's rearview mirror, Jackson's is another story.

With the sudden departure of Jackson, the Stampede had to look for a way to replace one of the league's best overall scorers. While that may be too much for a majority of teams to handle, the Idaho Stampede still feature one of the best backcourt duos in the NBADL. The duo of Prospect Pyramid studs Dee Bost and Kevin Murphy help fill the hole that was left by Jackson's departure

After joining the D-League midseason, Murphy has continued to elevate himself on a nightly basis. While he's one of the more well-rounded scorers in the league, he probably wouldn't be playing at this level, if it wasn't for the amazing distributing skills of backcourt partner Dee Bost.

In a recent interview with Ridiculous Upside, Murphy commented on his on-court relationship with Bost, the departure of Pierre Jackson, and the importance that the D-League plays for lesser-known players from mid-major schools.

Ridiculous Upside: As you showcase yourself as one of the better scorers in the D-League, is there a particular skill that you're still working on?

Kevin Murphy: Just being tuned in on the defensive side of the game. I believe that everyone wants to score the ball, so I just want to become a good defender. Being locked-in, rebounding, and [doing] whatever I can do to help the team win. I just want to be able to guard the other team's best player.

RU: In terms of your growth as an overall scorer, how important has it been to play alongside a pass-first point guard like Dee Bost?

Murphy: Playing with Dee makes the game a lot easier for me because he helps with most of my shots. In catch-and-shoots, back-door cuts or moving without the ball, he's able to find me which makes things easier. It's really fun to play with him.

RU: Pierre Jackson recently left to play in Turkey.  Do you feel like you have to play a bigger role with the Stampede to help them get into the playoffs?

Murphy: With Pierre gone, we lost a big load because he was one of the top players in the entire league. Pierre and I were playing really well together and putting up numbers. Now that he's gone, I feel like everybody on the team has stepped up.

RU: You played at a pretty small mid-major in Tennessee Tech. For players like yourself who weren't in the spotlight during school, how important could the D-League be as an overall platform to showcase their skills?

Murphy: Coming from a mid-major, you always get overlooked because nobody knows if you can do it against teams in the top conferences. In the D-league, you have players from everywhere who played in big schools to small mid-majors. If you can go in the D-League and do well, then I think that shows the world that you can play with anybody. It's not about the ACC schools or SEC schools, it's just about being able to play basketball.

RU: New NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, is thinking about implementing an age rule where you have to be at least 20-years-old to be drafted in the NBA. What do you think about that rule? And how does the D-League compare to college as an overall development ground for players both on and off the court?

Murphy: I think the D-League and college are different as far as the competition. As far as the rule change, I think that they should have it where you can come into the league out of high school. If you don't come straight out of high school, then you need to stay in school for three years like in the NFL. The one-and-done players are just messing up college basketball because you can't have a foundation with players leaving after one year. Either you come out of high school, or you have to stay in college for three years.