NBA Draft Profile: Iowa F Keegan Murray Primed to Go Top 5
While the top three prospects have become the topic of discussion heading into the 2022 NBA Draft, tons of talent remains outside those spots in what is shaping up to be a loaded class of prospects.
We look at Keegan Murray, a consensus All-American out of Iowa who is projected to be a top-five overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Murray has an NBA-ready frame at 6’8″ with a 7’6″ wingspan that helps him both defensively and with his high and quick release that will have NBA teams drooling. It’s unheard of to see a scorer with his ability also average 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks per game on the other end.
His size also allows him a post presence, which was underutilized during his time with Iowa. If he can develop a consistent fadeaway jumper or hook shot with his post repertoire, he can add it to his scoring at the rim and beyond the arc.
The most impressive part of Murray’s sophomore season was his consistency at scoring the basketball. The 21-year-old put together 26 games of 20 points or more out of his 35 starts last season and shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 24 of those starts.
His ability to explode and finish at the rim may be the most underrated aspect of his game. Murray put together a plethora of impressive dunks through traffic during his sophomore campaign, and it will make defenses respect his driving capability at the next level. This poster at the Big Ten Tournament back in March is a perfect example.
Playmaking will be the biggest question for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa native heading to the next level. Even at an impressive 23.5 points per game at the Power 6 level, it’s unacceptable to have just 1.5 assists per outing with how much of the ball he saw in his sophomore season. Murray will be an easy assignment no matter how strong he is as a scorer if he can’t learn to be an average playmaker in the NBA.
Murray may have been the best pure scorer in college basketball last season. He can pour it in all three levels, uses his size to contribute on the defensive end, and has shown an unprecedented improvement over the last 12 months, something that should encourage NBA teams that there is potential here. If he can create for others more at the professional level, we could see Keegan Murray as a perennial All-Star not too far into the future.
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