Iowa basketball's Keegan Murray selected No. 4 by Sacramento Kings in 2022 NBA Draft
On Thursday night, the Keegan Murray story added a historic chapter. The Iowa basketball player was selected fourth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Now, Keegan Murray is Iowa's highest draft pick of all time, passing Fred Brown, selected No. 6 overall in 1971. He's the first Iowa lottery pick since Ronnie Lester was selected No. 10 overall in 1980.
Murray, 21, is the oldest of the potential lottery selections in Thursday's draft. Questions about his ceiling as a player and limitations in athleticism arose in the pre-draft process but his body of work proved too strong to keep him from being a top draft pick.
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After spending his freshman season at Iowa as a key reserve, Murray broke out as one of college basketball's brightest stars as a sophomore in an All-American campaign. He scored a nation-high 822 points and finished fourth nationally in points per game (23.6), and that number is the highest among power conference players. Overall, he averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% from the 3-point line.
For his stellar play, Murray was named first team All-Big Ten, was a consensus first team All-American and a finalist for The Naismith Trophy, college basketball's highest honor.
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Throughout the draft process, Murray was considered a top-five prospect by the majority of draft experts. Mike Schmitz, formerly of ESPN and now assistant general manager of the Portland Trailblazers called Murray "the most complete player in the draft" and, more recently, ESPN's Jay Bilas tabbed him as the "most NBA-ready prospect."
From one Division I offer out of high school to a lottery pick in the NBA, Murray's improbable story has come full circle. He's no longer an underrated commodity and believes that he's only scratching the surface of how good he can be as a professional.
"I feel like for me my game's only just started," Murray said to Hawk Central last week. "I feel like I have a long ways to go to where I want to be at as a basketball player. So it's an exciting time for me and my development."