Murray Named Karl Malone Award Finalist

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday the five finalists for the 2022 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, which includes University of Iowa men’s basketball sophomore Keegan Murray.

Other finalists include Jabari Smith of Auburn, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga, and Ohio State’s EJ Liddell.

Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in November, which has now been narrowed to five.

Fans can vote for their favorite player at beginning March 4.

Last month, Murray was selected to the John R. Wooden Award Late-Season Top 20 List, Lute Olson National Player of the Year Mid-Season List and tabbed second-team midseason All-American by Sporting News. He has been named Big Ten Player of the Week a program-best five times this season (Nov. 22; Dec. 20; Jan. 3; Feb. 14; Feb. 28).

Murray (6-foot-8, 225 pounds) ranks first in the country in Player Efficiency Rating (38.4); fourth in points per game (23.3); 25th in field goal percentage (.561); 47th in blocks per contest (2.0); 52nd in double-doubles (8); and 73rd in free throws made (113).

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has tallied 20+ points 20 times and 25+ points an NCAA-best 13 times this season, both of which rank first among players from major conferences.

Murray is looking to become the second Hawkeye to earn a national position award; Garza earned the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award in 2020 and 2021.

Murray and the 24th-ranked Hawkeyes (21-8, 11-7) return to the hardwood tonight against Michigan (16-12, 10-8). Tipoff is set for 8:07 p.m. (CT) at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.