A broken rib hasn’t slowed down Florida senior forward Erik Murphy.
In four games since being diagnosed with the rib injury, the 6-foot-10 Murphy is averaging 13.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. Murphy scored a team-high 15 points in UF’s 83-52 win last Saturday over Missouri.
Murphy credited UF trainer Dave “Duke” Werner for the extra padding that he’s provided to protect his ribs underneath his jersey.
“Duke pads it up pretty good, so it doesn’t really hurt that much when I get hit on it,” Murphy said. “Just trying to take care of it every day. Ice it. It’s getting better. The longer I wait, the better it’ll get. It’s healing over time, feeling better. But it’s not that bad when I’m playing.”
Murphy doesn’t know a specific timetable when the padding will be removed, but it hasn’t affected his range of motion or his shooting. Murphy is shooting 43.5 percent (10-23) from 3-point range over his last four games.
“That’s up to Duke,” Murphy said. “That’s his … When it stops hurting me or bothering me, he’ll probably want to keep it on even longer to be safe. We’ve got this new padding system he came up with, so it’s easier for me to breathe. It’s not wrapped up really tight right now. It’s a little better now.”
— Former Florida center Marreese Speights was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was part of a salary-dump move by Memphis to get under the luxury tax threshold. Speights will get a chance to contribute right way with Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao out for the season with a blood clot in his lung.
— ESPN’s Joe Lundari still has Florida in Dayton in his latest bracketology, but moved the Gators up to a No. 2 seed in the East Region.