Murphy matures on, off court for No. 12 Florida



GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Erik Murphy has a small scar just above his right eye, a remnant of the eight stitches he needed after a recent collision with teammate Patric Young.

It’s hardly the only makeover for the 6-foot-10 junior.

Murphy’s game has improved dramatically this season, and coach Billy Donovan says the power forward has made an equally noticeable jump in maturity since his arrest last April. Combined, they have helped Murphy develop into a consistent scorer and reliable teammate for the 12th-ranked Gators.

Donovan says Murphy was “just kind of floating through life” last year. Donovan challenged him to figure out who he wanted to be as a person and as a player.

Donovan says he has “seen a lot of growth in Erik in a real, real positive way.”