Stoic, talented forward who took a massive leap as a sophomore putting together one of the most efficient offensive seasons in college basketball history with his ability to handle, finish and shoot.
About Keegan Murray
Iowa forward Keegan Murray was arguably the most improved player in college basketball last season. His impressive all-around talent shined all year as he put together one of the most efficient offensive seasons in recent Division I history. A second-generation Hawkeye whose father, Kenyon, was a McDonald’s All-American and four-year contributor in Iowa City whose professional career included stints in the CBA, the USBL, Sweden, and China, Murray and his twin brother Kris took a detour to follow in their father’s footsteps. Considered a fringe Division I recruit holding only one low-major offer as a senior at Prairie High School (IA), Murray used a postgraduate season at DME Academy (FL) to earn an offer from Iowa.
Immediately emerging as a valuable cog off the bench for Fran McCaffrey’s Hawkeyes, Murray averaged 7.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game but flashed considerable promise. Exceeding even the most optimistic expectations while filling the vacuum created by the departures of 2021 NBA Draft picks Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, Murray averaged 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks over 31.9 minutes per game as a sophomore while leading the country in points per possession, earning Consensus First-Team All-American honors, and solidifying himself as a potential early lottery pick.
• Listed at 6-foot-9 with a 225-pound frame that still has room to continue adding muscle and good length, Murray has a strong combination of size, athleticism, and coordination.
• More than tripling his point production from his freshman year to rank among the top-5 scorers in the country, Murray carried a massive offensive burden as a sophomore. His instincts off the ball as a cutter and rebounder translated from his freshman year, but his talent with the ball pushing it himself in transition, driving closeouts, and attacking mismatches shined as the Hawkeyes looked to play fast. Taking smaller defenders in the post, shooting the ball more consistently from beyond the arc as the year went on, and catching some designed lobs, there are few things Murray did not show an aptitude for on the offensive end last season. Not only scoring in a variety of ways, but doing so with elite instincts and feel, Murray turned in one of the most efficient seasons in college basketball history and should be an easy fit at the next level.
• Playing quite a bit of small-ball center last season, Murray held his own on the block while showing the ability to guard multiple positions and the timing to provide some rim protection.
• Doing a little bit of everything last season, Murray’s ability to dribble, shoot, and finish at 6-foot-9 coupled with his fundamentally sound, low-mistake style of the play made him one of the most difficult matchups in college basketball last season.
• Getting a quarter of his possessions in transition last season, Murray thrived in the open floor showing the ability to grab and go pushing himself or filling lanes running the wings. Averaging a massive 1.50 points per transition possession [97th percentile] while finishing second in the country in transition scoring, the 21-year-old’s ability to handle and finish with both hands made him brutally effective in space.
• Translating his ability to drive the ball with purpose in the half court but also cutting backdoor with great timing and making opportunistic plays on the glass, Murray averaged 1.27 points per shot around the rim in the half court [76th percentile]. Many of those attempts came in one-on-one situations as he was aggressive attacking matchups all season–especially when sliding to the center spot. Able to absorb contact, play above the rim effortlessly in space, and use his hook shot to score over smaller defenders, the Iowa native was prolific around the rim against set defenses as well.
• Flashing significant potential as a shooter, Murray scored 1.05 points per jump shot [79th percentile] making significant progress from his freshman year. As prolific as he was around the rim, just under half of his shots in the half court came from the perimeter and he seemed to find more of a comfort level shooting both off the catch and off the dribble as the year wore on. He is not particularly reliable in the midrange at this point, but has a very fluid release, a feel for getting himself open moving off screens, and the ability to toss in an occasional stepback jumper from beyond the arc.
• Murray has few holes in his game and even his lack of production as a passer is not unexpected given he is one of only a few players in college basketball history to score over 1.20 points per possession on over 18 possessions per game.
• Competing with a very steady demeanor and strong instincts, Murray is not the most imposing defensive presence, but his size, feet, and feel afford him valuable versatility. Allowing 0.78 points per one-on-one possession [62nd percentile], he demonstrated the ability to guard some bigger players in the post and smaller wings on the perimeter.
• Doing a nice job using verticality to help protect the rim and seeking out opportunities to go coast to coast fighting on the glass, Murray played quite a bit of center with the Hawkeyes going small and playing zone regularly last season.
— Profile by Synergy Sports