Attention College Basketball: Keegan Murray is Really Good
Last night I sat down to watch Iowa take on Western Michigan in college basketball. I've watched bits and pieces of the Hawkeyes so far this year, so I'm aware that sophomore Keegan Murray is off to a blazing start. But is Murray really this good? I think a lot of people felt the same way about Luka Garza. They heard the hype but was he really the best center in America? Garza turned out to be the real deal. If Murray isn't careful, he could turn out to be even better.
First of all, watching Keegan Murray play, it doesn't look like he's trying. His game is so smooth and seemingly effortless, that he can grab a defensive rebound, dribble in and out of traffic, then dunk on the offensive end, and he makes it look like anyone could have done it. The Cedar Rapids Gazette points out that Murray never scored more than 14 points all of last season. He didn't have to with the likes of Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp still here. But with all those points now playing in the NBA, Murray knows that his time to score is now.
Murray had 22 points at the half last night. Western Michigan had 20 as a team. Murray ended up with 29 for the game, It was his fifth straight game with 24 points or more, and raised his season scoring average up to 26.2 points per game. But it's not just scoring. He rebounds, he plays defense, he blocks shots. Western Michigan had no answer for him last night. But their head coach wasn't too worried. He told reporters that he likely wouldn't see Murray again, as he already has the attention of NBA scouts.
Former Iowa star and current Iowa broadcaster Bobby Hansen told the Cedar Rapids Gazette the player that Keegan Murray reminds him of. That player is Scottie Pippen, who Hansen got to know a bit during his time with the Chicago Bulls. The competition gets much tougher for Iowa in the coming days with games against Virginia, #3 Purdue, and #14 Illinois. If Murray can average over 20 points against that kind of competition, then you better enjoy him while you can, Hawkeye fans.