In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Keegan Murray of the Iowa Hawkeyes, who came in at No. 16 in the rankings. The Hawkeyes came into last season with a lot of hype and expectations for the team, but fell short of their goal for a league title and deep NCAA Tournament run. Keegan Murray’s breakout freshman season certainly wasn’t the reason for that shortcoming, however.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 16 Keegan Murray:
- Eligibility: Sophomore
- Career Totals: 31 games, 558 minutes, 224 points, 158 rebounds, 17 assists
- 2020-’21 Averages: 18.0 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 0.5 APG, 5.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 0.8 SPG
- Positional Role: Forward
Keegan Murray arrived in Iowa City as a highly touted scorer for the Hawkeyes and quickly impressed to the tune of All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors. Coming off the bench he was a strong producer for the team off the bench and is now one of the most common names among Big Ten players as a 2022 NBA Draft prospect heading into this season.
Murray arrived on campus as a known scoring entity for the Hawkeyes last season. However, he ended up impressing overall with the versatility of his game. He was one of just five players, and the only one who did so coming off the bench, to amass 200+ points, 35+ blocks, 25+ steals, and 15+ 3-pointers last season. His 39 total blocks last season were tied for fourth most by a freshman in program history, and he ranked 11th in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game despite only being a freshman and coming off the bench.
Murray is a versatile defender thanks to his athleticism and length. He will easily shine this season as a result of Garza, Wieskamp, Fredrick, and Nunge all gone. As he becomes a more go to shooter for Iowa on offense and earns his way into a starting role, expect him to really show off his shot more as well.
-Areas for Improvement
His strength as a shooter will also be a new question mark for this season. Will Murray be able to stand up to the heavier work load being the go to option on offense will draw from opponents? What about mentally himself as just a sophomore? He will have a lot of question marks in that regard.
Murray is a lot of potential right now in the end as he was, understandably, overshadowed by a number of elite teammates last season. As he has to show he can play heavier minutes and score as a high-volume shooter for his team on offense, will his youth show through more than his raw potential?
Expect Murray to be a starter for Iowa this season. He is going to be a key contributor for the Hawkeyes if they hope to stay in the upper echelons of the Big Ten. Murray is likely to see the court often and to have an outsized impact on the roster this year after a breakout freshman performance.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-27 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- #24 - Donta Scott (Maryland)
- #22 - Justice Sueing (Ohio State)
- #22 - Max Christie (Michigan State)
- #20 - Miller Kopp (Indiana)
- #20 - Connor McCaffery (Iowa)
- #19 - Zach Edey (Purdue)
- #18 - Tyson Walker (Michigan State)
- #17 - Eli Brooks (Michigan)
- # 16 - Keegan Murray (Iowa)
- # 15 - To Be Continued ...