*****Official Keegan Murray NBA career Thread*****

SDHawkDoc

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Jan 27, 2013
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While this is about Keegan as an outstanding player and young man, it will be a very nice bonus for Iowa Hawkeye basketball when he is selected (hopefully at #4 per some of the mocks!) in the first round. As great as it has been for the program on the national stage to have LG as the NPOY, I think having a high first round draft pick might resonate even more with potential top 50 recruits.
 

BrunoMars420

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Feb 14, 2016
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STRENGTHS Epitome of a late bloomer. Murray’s best offers coming out of high school in Iowa were at the low-major level despite success that included all-state honors, so he decided to take a post-graduate year after graduating in 2019. He and his twin brother, Kris, attended DME Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla. Keegan quickly emerged as a drastically under-the-radar player. He won Most Outstanding Player at the National Prep School Invitational and developed physically in this year. Stepped into
a good role immediately as a freshman. Quickly emerged as one of the best per-minute players in the Big Ten just by making hustle plays and being active. Quickly got onto scouts’ radars as a future player to watch. Earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors and was quickly expected to turn into a first-rounder as soon as 2022. Became one of the best players in college basketball
and undeniably its most productive. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and should have won Big Ten Player of the Year. Instead, he settled for Big Ten tournament MVP while leading Iowa to its first Big Ten Tourney title in 16 years. Murray finished out his season winning the Karl Malone Award as best power forward in college basketball and won first-team All-American honors.
Good size for a combo forward at 6-foot-8 with roughly a 6-foot-11 wingspan. Very smooth athlete. Good explosiveness and an above-average athlete. Great balance and body control. On top of that, plays with great strength. Absorbs contact well and has no problem playing through any bumps or physicality. The intersection of power, body control and speed is abnormal.
Exceptional open-floor player and a terrific grab-and-go player. Not wildly shifty in the frontcourt, but shifty enough and uses pace well to get by his man. Hesitations are key for him. Plays with poise, and because he’s so strong, he’s able to get downhill without lightning speed. Even if he can’t get out in transition, loves to get the ball early to try to get to the rim. Gets low and moves opposing players. Plays with phenomenal bend allowing him to use his strength without losing any burst. Can take off far away from the rim, hang in the air and finish. Because he’s taking off from a strong leverage point lower than his opponent, he can go through guys while in the air.
Was the best high-volume, high-efficiency guy in college basketball this year. He’s a prolific offensive player as a scorer, particularly out of face-up mid-post opportunities and spot-up chances. Loves to go right. Goal is to either get to his left-to-right crossover or to his spin move back to his right hand. Often spins back into post-up opportunities, and Iowa used him a lot in mismatches against bigs on the block because of his ability to use his leverage to establish position. Uses his touch and ability to play through contact to finish efficiently. Among the 439 players in college basketball to have at least 50 possessions on the block, per Synergy, Murray was the most efficient scorer in the country, shooting 63 percent on such shots while also drawing fouls on 26 percent of his post attempts. While he wants to go right, he does have good touch with both hands, both on post-ups and as a driver and finisher. Feels where his defender is and knows how to play off him. Hit 60 percent of his shots at the rim on non-post-ups in the half court, per Synergy. He will score at the NBA level.
Has developed as a shooter. Hit a good percentage on pull-ups. If he’s in ball screens, he can hit shots going to his right if a man goes under. If he’s facing up, he can get to his stepback going left. Hit 38 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s last year. Mostly a one-two step in but has a clean release with very simple mechanics and good rhythm. Hits them from a variety of situations because his shot prep is good. Great at getting his lower half aligned toward the rim. Good out of spot-ups and pick-and-pops. Release is quick when he has to get it off. Has shown some potential to not have to dip the ball to get a shot. Hits them occasionally off movement. Can be a bit inconsistent coming off screens, but for a bigger, stronger guy, there is room for growth. Pretty good at relocating off heavy closeouts, something he got regularly.
He’s a pretty good defensive playmaker. Gets a lot of stocks to create those transition opportunities. Also, a good rebounder when pushing. Iowa regularly used him at the top of their zone press, and he got a ton of deflections and steals by being active with his hands. Think he generally is active without always being totally engaged in the play on defense.
 

BrunoMars420

HR Legend
Feb 14, 2016
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WEAKNESSES
While he’s a smooth athlete who uses his intersection of strength and quickness well, he’s not a quick-twitch guy. Part of where he gets best use out of his strength is by constantly having his feet under him and playing square to the rim. Gets the most
out of his athleticism and strength in that way. Mechanically smart, but you see on both ends that there isn’t much twitch. Stronger defenders can stay in front of him because he’s not all that great at changing directions — and you’ll particularly see it on defense.
Gets straight-line driven a bit too often. For as well as he plays with bend on offense, he doesn’t do it as much on defense. Often ends up playing pretty upright. Does have some moments of playing with bend where he’s better sliding laterally, so there is room for growth. Got beaten more often than you’d hope on the ball. Even in moments where he’s playing with bend, he still can give up too much ground in switches against quick guards, something that won’t fly in the NBA. I have some concerns that opposing guards could catch him in the same way they catch someone like Tobias Harris in the NBA. If Murray can lock in and play with more bend consistently laterally, he has a chance to be useful.
He’s a gambler on defense, constantly trying to make plays happen, possibly a product of how good he is in transition on offense. Sometimes tries to gamble because he’s beaten and feels like he needs to hit a home run to make up for it, particularly when trying to guard entry passes. Always trying to make those plays happen. Also, OK as a rim protector when he’s squared up to the play, but I think the block numbers are a bit inflated by his choices on what to chase. Trying to constantly ball-watch and go hunting, but sometimes can lose track of the back side. Think the block and steal numbers overstate his impact on defense right now.
Additionally, not an awesome passer or playmaker for others — probably a product of not being an incredible ballhandler comfortable with being reactive on the fly. Defenders started sitting on his spin move expecting it by the end of the year, and he’s not naturally reactive to where the help and digs are coming from. Best in a straight line, keeping things simple, but generally needs to do a better job of seeing the floor. Rarely turns it over, but he’s also not going to hurt the defense for doubling him. A lot of escape passes
 

BrunoMars420

HR Legend
Feb 14, 2016
11,446
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SUMMARY
I buy Murray being an impactful NBA player and probably a starter who puts up numbers as a scorer. He’s going to knock down shots, attack closeouts and take advantage of any leverage-based mismatch he gets. I brought up Tobias Harris earlier, and he’s ultimately the guy I see most when I watch Murray. He is at his best when keeping things simple with no frills. He’s going to push the ball in transition, catch and shoot, make the occasional mid-post, self-created bucket, and hit opposing guards on post mismatches. I also buy him as a shooter from all over the court in a variety of situations, meaning coaches will be able to move him around. Ultimately, it all comes down to whether you buy him as a switch guy on defense who can at least hold up at the point of attack, even if he’s not truly impactful. I think I buy him holding up enough to not be a liability, which when combined with the offense provides a pretty safe prospect to project. I don’t think he’s a guy you have to take out of the game because he’s getting crushed in switches. He’s skilled, he’s strong and he’s fundamentally sound. I wouldn’t be blown away with Murray as a top-five pick, and it’s not going to be the sexiest upside play, but he’s going to be a good NBA player.
 

unoHawkeye

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Jul 30, 2015
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If Keegan ends up having a career like Tobias Harris, then that would have been an awesome career. I like the comp
 
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Bro D

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2003
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We have a whole team of volunteers doing gods work and it’s still not enough hahaha.
kermit-typing.gif
 

Bro D

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Nov 17, 2003
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Kinda curious where Kofi ends up or if he even gets drafted. Would love for the Bulls to take him but don't believe we have a 2nd RD pick
 

BrunoMars420

HR Legend
Feb 14, 2016
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Kinda curious where Kofi ends up or if he even gets drafted. Would love for the Bulls to take him but don't believe we have a 2nd RD pick
I don’t think he gets drafted. Not as athletic or skilled as the other bigs.
 

topherchris20

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kinda curious where Kofi ends up or if he even gets drafted. Would love for the Bulls to take him but don't believe we have a 2nd RD pick
Not getting drafted. Straight to Europe is my guess.

Great thread title btw!
 

RocknRollface

HR Legend
Dec 21, 2011
10,898
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WEAKNESSES
While he’s a smooth athlete who uses his intersection of strength and quickness well, he’s not a quick-twitch guy. Part of where he gets best use out of his strength is by constantly having his feet under him and playing square to the rim. Gets the most
out of his athleticism and strength in that way. Mechanically smart, but you see on both ends that there isn’t much twitch. Stronger defenders can stay in front of him because he’s not all that great at changing directions — and you’ll particularly see it on defense.
Gets straight-line driven a bit too often. For as well as he plays with bend on offense, he doesn’t do it as much on defense. Often ends up playing pretty upright. Does have some moments of playing with bend where he’s better sliding laterally, so there is room for growth. Got beaten more often than you’d hope on the ball. Even in moments where he’s playing with bend, he still can give up too much ground in switches against quick guards, something that won’t fly in the NBA. I have some concerns that opposing guards could catch him in the same way they catch someone like Tobias Harris in the NBA. If Murray can lock in and play with more bend consistently laterally, he has a chance to be useful.
He’s a gambler on defense, constantly trying to make plays happen, possibly a product of how good he is in transition on offense. Sometimes tries to gamble because he’s beaten and feels like he needs to hit a home run to make up for it, particularly when trying to guard entry passes. Always trying to make those plays happen. Also, OK as a rim protector when he’s squared up to the play, but I think the block numbers are a bit inflated by his choices on what to chase. Trying to constantly ball-watch and go hunting, but sometimes can lose track of the back side. Think the block and steal numbers overstate his impact on defense right now.
Additionally, not an awesome passer or playmaker for others — probably a product of not being an incredible ballhandler comfortable with being reactive on the fly. Defenders started sitting on his spin move expecting it by the end of the year, and he’s not naturally reactive to where the help and digs are coming from. Best in a straight line, keeping things simple, but generally needs to do a better job of seeing the floor. Rarely turns it over, but he’s also not going to hurt the defense for doubling him. A lot of escape passes
Most of the evaluations of Keegan after his freshman year that I read talked about his defense as the reason he was considered a prospect.

Any defensive evaluation needs to be seen through the lense of who the coach is. Fran McCafferys primary objective on the defensive end is avoiding fouls not getting stops. Especially for his offensive weapons.

As a freshman Keegan showed himself a good versatile defender when not being tasked with carrying the scoring.
 

Bro D

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2003
19,808
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I just can't see Sac taking Ivey with their current backcourt. Murray to them just makes way too much sense.