The Big Ten handed out their year-end awards on Monday night and two Minnesota Golden Gophers were honored for their seasons. Senior Jordan Murphy was named First Team All-Big Ten by the media and second-team by the coaches. Junior Amir Coffey was named Third Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media. Murphy joins Nate Mason as the only two Gophers to be named First Team All-Big Ten since 2005. Murphy was also named the Gophers Sportsmanship Nominee.
Murphy was honored by the Big ten for his fourth season in a row. His First/Second team honors this year are added to a resume that saw him named to the All-Freshman Team selection in 2016, dual third team honors in 2017, and second team by the media and third team by the coaches in 2018.
Murphy has had an exceptional senior season. He led the Big Ten in rebounding with 11.7 boards per game which also ranks him fifth nationally going into tournament play. He leads the Big Ten and is tied for third in the country with 21 double-doubles on the season. Murphy was second on the Gophers in scoring with an average of 14.5 points per game. He had scored 10 or more points in 23 of Minnesota’s 31 games this season and had scored 20 or more in five of them. Along with leading in points and boards Murphy is second on the team in field goal shooting at 48.5% and blocks with 29 while also ranking third in assists with 82.
As for his career numbers, statistically Murphy will go down as one of the best to ever wear the Maroon and Gold. Earlier this season Murphy moved into second place on the Big Ten career rebounding chart with 1,272 and counting, which also set a Minnesota career record. His 66 career double-doubles is also second in Big Ten history, Murphy’s 1,732 career points currently rank him fifth all time in school history, but with a good Big Ten/NCAA Tournament run he could rank as high as second needing only 33 points to pass Andre Hollins for fourth place, 45 to pass Randy Breuer for third place, and 68 to pass Willie Burton for second all-time.
Coffey earned his second conference recognition after earning All-Freshmen honors in 2017. He has been on a tear as the season comes to a close earning back to back Big Ten Player of the Week awards in the last two weeks of the regular season. He leads the Gophers in scoring averaging 16 points per game, and that goes up to 17.6 in conference games ranking him fifth in the Big Ten. He has ended the season on a tear recording 20 or more points in three straight games and becoming the first Gopher to do so since Andre Hollins in 2015. His back to back 30 point games against Northwestern and Purdue were the first time a Gopher had done that since Vincent Grier did it in 2005. He has scored in double figures in 25 games this season.
Murphy, Coffey and the rest of the seventh seeded Gophers will be back in action Thursday night when they take on tenth seed Penn State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. While the Gophers appear at the moment to be safely inside the NCAA Tournament bubble, another Tier I win over PSU would certainly lock a spot up and possibly even bump them up a seed-line or two.