IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s basketball sophomore forward Keegan Murray has been named to the 2021-22 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the Big Ten Conference.
It marks the third straight season that one or more Hawkeyes have been selected to the preseason list, voted upon by a selected panel of media. Joe Wieskamp was selected in 2019 and 2020, while Luka Garza was tabbed the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year in November, 2020.
Murray is one of the league’s top emerging players after being named to the five-player All-Big Ten Freshman Team a year ago. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native was one of only five players nationally — and only bench player — to amass 200 points, 35 blocks, 25 steals, and 15 3-pointers. He was the team’s leading scorer (7.8) and rebounder (5.5) off the bench in conference play. Murray led team in blocks 12 times and steals five times. The 6-foot-8 forward was second on the team in steals (26) and ranked 11th in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (1.26). His 39 blocks tie for fourth most by a freshman in program history.
Murray totaled 13 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, three assists, and a steal in Iowa’s first-round victory over Grand Canyon to become the first Hawkeye ever to stuff the stat sheet with those numbers in an NCAA Tournament contest.
2021-22 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
KOFI COCKBURN, JR., C, ILLINOIS
Andre Curbelo, So., G, Illinois
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS, JR., F, INDIANA
Keegan Murray, So., F, Iowa
Eric Ayala, Sr., G, Maryland
HUNTER DICKINSON, SO., C, MICHIGAN
Caleb Houstan, Fr., G/F, Michigan
E.J. LIDDELL, JR., F, OHIO STATE
JADEN IVEY, SO., G, PURDUE
Trevion Williams, Sr., F, Purdue
Ron Harper Jr., Sr., G/F, Rutgers
2021-22 BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kofi Cockburn, Jr., C, Illinois
Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
* Additional honoree due to tie