Iowa’s Keegan Murray Taken 4th Overall by Sacramento Kings
Prior to Thursday night, the Iowa Hawkeye basketball program had never had a player selected in the top five. Its highest selection came in 1971 when 6'3 guard Fred Brown was taken by the no longer existent Seattle SuperSonics with the No. 6 pick.
The most recent first-round pick from Iowa City was Ricky Davis, who was selected with the 21st pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1998.
That's all changed at the hands of Keegan Murray.
Murray, who was a projected top-five pick by many NBA Draft experts following the college basketball season, was selected fourth overall by the Sacramento Kings in tonight's 2022 NBA Draft.
Murray skyrocketed up boards after making "the leap" from his freshman to sophomore seasons. In his first year with the Hawks, Murray put up 7.2 points and 5.1 rebounds over 18 minutes per game. This season, he scored 23.5 points, grabbed 8.7 rebounds, snagged 1.3 steals, and blocked two shots in 32 minutes per game.
He was also in the running for the Naismith Player of the Year.
I spoke with NBA Draft Analyst and Scouting Advisor from BasktballNews.com, Derek Murray, about Keegan's NBA potential and where he expected the Cedar Rapids native to land on my sports show, Cornstalks and Sports Talk:
Last season, the Kings went 30-52 overall and finished 12th out of 15 teams in the NBA's Western Conference standings. They're leading scorer was De'Aaron Fox who put up 23.2 points, 5.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 35.3 minutes per game.
Sacramento will replace interim head coach Alvin Gentry with Mike Brown to lead the team this season. This will be Brown's third head coaching stint. Previously, he was the head man for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. His regular season record is 347-216 as a head coach. From 2016 to 2022, he has served as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
In last year's NBA draft, two Hawkeyes were selected -- Joe Wieskamp was picked by the San Antonio Spurs with the 41st pick while Luka Garza was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 52nd pick.
As rookies, neither got to see much time on the court. Wieskamp averaged 2.1 points in 7.1 minutes per game over 29 contests. Garza put up 5.8 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds over 12.2 minutes per game in 32 appearances. He also started five games for Detroit.