Iowa Forward Keegan Murray Declaring For Draft

Iowa sophomore forward Keegan Murray, currently the No. 5 player on the ESPN big board, is declaring for the draft, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Murray played a bench role during his freshman season, averaging 7.2 PPG across 18 MPG as the offense focused around reigning 2020 Big Ten Player of the Year Luka Garza, a senior in 2020/21. Garza was eventually selected with the No. 52 pick by the Pistons during the 2021 draft.

As a sophomore, Murray handily established himself as a lottery prospect after gaining 15 pounds and growing an inch. In 35 games in 2021/22, he averaged 23.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 1.9 BPG across 32 MPG, posting a stellar shooting line of .554/.398/.747. Murray was voted Big Ten Tourney MVP in leading the Hawkeyes to the 2022 Big Ten tournament title.

Givony notes that the 21-year-old is presently a candidate for 2022 John R. Wooden, Naismith and Lute Olson awards. The 6’9″ forward looks likely to slot in as a versatile addition for whichever NBA club he joins, having operated at a variety of positions for Iowa and in his high school days at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“Before I came to Iowa I always played on the wing,” Murray said. “This was the first time I played the 4 and 5. We were small in the Big Ten. I’ll do whatever is needed to win because of my skill-set. This year I needed to play the 5. I feel like in the NBA, I can play 2 to 5. I can adapt to any position I’m put in.”

“I’m looking forward to showing NBA teams my versatility on both ends of the court,” the 2022 consensus All-American First Teamer added. “I’m a lot more athletic than people realize. I’m as competitive a player as you’re going to get. It doesn’t show from my facial expressions, but I love the game of basketball and competing every single night was a blessing for me. I’m not worried about what spot I get drafted.”

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