BROOKLYN, New York — University of Iowa men’s basketball standout Keegan Murray was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the fourth overall selection of the 2022 NBA Draft held Thursday evening at the Barclays Center.
Murray, who was in attendance and was first congratulated by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, becomes the program’s ninth first-round pick and first in 24 years (Ricky Davis in 1998).
Murray’s selection at No. 4 is the highest selection by a Hawkeye in program history (Fred Brown was picked with the sixth overall selection by Seattle in 1971 Seattle). He is Iowa’s first Top-10 selection since Ronnie Lester was selected No. 10 by Portland in 1980.
Murray, who was the first Big Ten player selected tonight, becomes the 57th Iowa men’s basketball player to be selected in an NBA Draft, and the 22nd Hawkeye to be selected in the top two rounds. Murray is the third Hawkeye to be drafted in the last two seasons.
Murray, a sophomore, is the fifth Hawkeye to be drafted under head coach Fran McCaffery. Roy Devyn Marble (Orlando) and Aaron White (Washington) were drafted in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Luka Garza (Detroit) and Joe Wieskamp (San Antonio) were picked in 2021. Undrafted free agent Tyler Cook, who played three seasons with the Hawkeyes (2017-19), played 28 games with the Pistons in 2021 and 20 contests with the Chicago Bulls in 2022.
“I grew up 20 minutes from the University of Iowa and this is a dream come true. For me, it’s about leading the future of the Iowa program and this is the first step in doing that."Keegan Murray, NBA Draftee
Murray (6-foot-8, 225 pounds) had a breakout sophomore campaign earning consensus first-team All-America honors as well as being a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honoree. Murray was voted the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year, while also earning finalist honors for the Naismith, Wooden and Lute Olson Player of the Year awards, and Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year.
“I think at the end of the day, with the fourth pick, after exploring all our options we felt extremely comfortable that the best player available was Keegan Murray. We are extremely excited to welcome Keegan to the Kings family.”Monte McNair, Sacramento Kings General Manager
Murray totaled 822 points, 303 rebounds, 68 blocks, 66 3-point field goals, 52 assists, and 45 steals last season. He is only the second player in Division I history to amass more than 800 points, 60 blocks, and 60 3-pointers in a single season (Texas’ Kevin Durant in 2007). Additionally, he is the only collegiate player on record to amass at least 60 dunks and 60 3-pointers in the same season.
Murray ranked first in the country in Player Efficiency Rating (37.8); fourth in points per game (23.5); 34th in field goal percentage (.554); 46th in blocks per contest (1.94); and 51st in double-doubles (10). His 23.5 points per game average was tops among players from a major conference and marked the third consecutive season a Hawkeye has led the Big Ten in scoring (Garza in 2020 and 2021). Murray was the only player nationally to average 23+ points and 8+ rebounds this season.
Murray averaged 7.2 points per game as a freshman and averaged 23.5 as a sophomore (+16.3), the largest collegiate year-over-year scoring increase by a Top-5 draft pick in the NBA’s Modern Draft Era (since 1966).
“We all know the year that Keegan had this year, and it was fantastic,” said McNair. “But Keegan is somebody that was on our radar last year even though he had a smaller role. The things he does on the court show up even in smaller samples. So, the fact that he took it to the heights he did this year are certainly a testament to him and the program, but it is also things that we saw the beginning of last year. That just gives you even more confidence.”
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native tallied 20+ points 26 times and 25+ points 16 times as a sophomore, both of which ranked first nationally. Murray was voted the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player after totaling a tournament record 103 points and 38 field goals made in four games in leading the Hawkeyes to their third tournament championship and first since 2006.