15 - Keegan Murray

6-8, 225 Small Forward/Power Forward
Iowa Sophomore
Birthday
08/19/00 (22.3 yrs)
Hometown
Cedar Rapids, IA
High School
DME Sports Academy
Team Site Profile
Athleticism
8
Size
8
Defense
8
Strength
7
Quickness
8
Leadership
8
Jump Shot
8
NBA Ready
9
Ball Handling
7
Potential
7
Passing
7
Intangibles
9

NBA Comparison: Otto Porter/Michael Porter Jr.

Strengths: A 6’8 225 frontcourt player with the frame, length, and mobility to play minutes all along the frontcourt in the NBA, especially as he fills out his frame … Agile; moves well laterally and has pretty decent leaping skills too, gets off the floor quickly off one or 2 feet … A smooth frontcourt player with the ability to move better than many similarly sized players, making him a big mismatch offensively at the college level with some translatable skills to the pros … Very good floor spacer, has a soft shooting touch and consistent shot mechanics from all 3 levels of the floor, and can do damage spotting up and hitting shots from long range (nearly 40% 3FG on 4.7 attempts), pulling up off the bounce and attacking closeouts, or using turnaround jumpers from the low or mid post … Also is effective in pick-and-pop situations, and shows budding ability to hit some jumpers with range off screens … Possesses a rangy 1st step that college frontcourt players struggled to defend all season when he attacked off the dribble, and knows how to slither in tight spaces or spin into the lane under control for high percentage shots when defenders happen to cut off his driving lanes … Solid post-up player, particularly when matched up on smaller players, and has a good command of jump hooks & up and under moves when he establishes position … More of a finesse player than physical, but shouldn’t be confused with a player who is afraid of contact in the paint, and will occasionally finish with authority at the rim … His huge production jump from his Freshman to Sophomore season (from 7.2 ppg to 23.5 ppg) is eye-opening and encouraging; but his shot selection to get that production was also outstanding (55% FG, career 54%) and he rarely looks like he’s forcing scoring opportunities outside of the offensive flow … Looks comfortable as a ball handler initiating transition opportunities after missed shots or turnovers … Will make some hustle plays and is active moving without the ball, gets a fair share of points without having plays drawn up for him as a cutter and in transition … Rebounds his area well (nearly 9 rpg), but is particularly effective as an offensive rebounder (nearly 3 Orpg as a Soph.) who regularly got put backs by being active on the glass and using his long arms … Effective shot-blocker (nearly 2 bpg as a Soph, career 1.6 bpg) showing nice timing and using his length to alter shots near the rim or get back into plays when beat off the bounce … Moves his feet well, rarely gets in foul trouble, and also has quick hands (over 1 spg); has the tools needed to be able to switch onto the perimeter and hold his own and sometimes even smother smaller matchups while guarding along the frontline as well … Gets to the line at a decent clip (over 5 attempts per game at around 75 FT%) … Doesn’t turn the ball over much (just 1.1 topg), especially for his usage … High IQ player and late bloomer who clearly works hard on his game giving his emergence from his 1st season to now …

Weaknesses: Will have some questions about his true position at the next level; though his length allows him to play bigger than he is, at 6’8 he may be better suited as more of a PF or ‘small ball’ C than the combo forward he is seen as at the college level, especially as he fills out his frame … For as productive a scorer as he was for Iowa as a Soph., Murray didn’t quite prove to be a natural perimeter shot creator … Is comfortable handling in the open court and he’s hard to contain in the mid and high post, but he can be loose with the ball from the perimeter off the dribble and it’s tough to project him facing up and breaking down NBA level combo forwards on the perimeter consistently … Was an efficient shooter, but did have some inconsistency from deep this season at times and is still improving … Seems to prefer to drive and finish with his right, did have some awkward possessions when that side of the rim was cut off and he had to use his off hand … Defensively, Murray on occasion will rely too much on his length to gamble for steals/deflections by fronting post entry passes with no help around, and it can lead to easier shots in the paint when he’s unsuccessful … May struggle to defend on the perimeter as his lateral speed is not exceptional … May have been a function of his role on the team because he doesn’t seem selfish, but Murray doesn’t pass the ball much … Has underrated strength, but did at times struggle with his efficiency when defended by physical match ups who could contain his dribble penetration … Older than your average Soph. after spending a year in prep school before attending Iowa, will be 22 years old at the start of his rookie season …

Overall: After a monster season that saw him pick up where Luka Garza left off lighting up the scoreboard for the Hawkeyes, Murray emerged as arguably the most improved player in college hoops as a Sophomore. (from 7 ppg to over 23 ppg) … He has entrenched himself firmly in NBA Draft green room territory after his AP 1st Team All American season, despite a less than ideal end to their season with an early NCAA tourney loss (in which Murray scored 21 pts with 9 boards) … What’s most impressive is the multitude of ways that he scores, as he feasted on opponents from the post, mid range and from the 3-point line in Iowa’s spaced out, perimeter-oriented offensive scheme, often without the use of set plays to produce … While his mismatch skills and opportunistic scoring ability stands out, he also was a productive defensive presence who contributed well on the glass and showed the ability to switch and defend in space on the perimeter and in the front court that bodes well for his NBA projection … He will need to prove his shooting numbers are sustainable and polish his shot creating some more, especially if he wants to see time on the perimeter at the next level, but there is plenty to like about his production, skill level and versatility, as well as his length and rangy athleticism … He will hear his name called in the 1st round of the 2022 Draft, and currently has played his way into lottery projections as of now …

Jorrye Nixon 3/20/22

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