‘Happy with the decision I chose’: 5 things Iowa Hawkeyes forward Kris Murray said on his return

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

After exploring the 2022 NBA draft process, Iowa forward Kris Murray made the decision to return to Iowa City. It’s huge news for the Hawkeyes entering the 2022-23 men’s college basketball season.

Now, with Murray officially back in the fold, Iowa appears well positioned to contend in the Big Ten once more and to be right back in the mix for a 2023 NCAA Tournament berth.

The 6-foot-8, 225 pound junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder off the bench last season. Murray averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 38.7% from 3-point range.

At the Hawkeyes’ recent basketball camp, Murray met with reporters for the first time since making his decision to withdraw from the 2022 NBA draft and return to Iowa. His comments ranged from his experience going through the process, why he is back in Iowa City, what his expectations are for the 2022-23 season and more.

Let’s take a look at everything Murray had to say with reporters below.

Thoughts on the 2022 NBA draft process

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kris Murray met with the Iowa media this past week at Iowa’s basketball camp and KGAN and Hawk Central shared a portion of his comments to reporters. Naturally, one of the first topics of conversation was what Murray felt he got out of exploring the 2022 NBA draft process.

“It was pretty difficult. It was definitely kind of a last-minute decision. I took it up until the end and there was a lot of things to consider, especially kind of in my situation. I enjoyed the process, but it was probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve made in my life so far, but I’m happy with the decision I chose,” Murray said.

Looking for the first-round guarantee

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ultimately, Murray simply didn’t get the feedback he needed to hear in order to remain in the 2022 NBA draft.

“Mostly just a first-round guarantee. If I was going in the second round, I knew I wanted to come back just because I love this place so much and I knew another year here would help my game a lot and I’d enjoy it,” Murray said.

Still, it was a valuable experience for Murray that will no doubt pay dividends this time next year when he’ll be hoping to hear his name called early in the 2023 NBA draft.

Thoughts on the hiring of assistant coach Matt Gatens

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa recently announced the hiring of former Hawkeye guard Matt Gatens as one of its new assistant men’s basketball coaches. It’s someone Murray is familiar with watching growing up.

“Yeah, I do. I remember his game he had like 11 threes against someone, but my dad used to do broadcasts for Big Ten Network, so I used to come to games all the time when I was younger and Matt Gatens used to come to those games, too. So, I’m happy that he’s an assistant here and I think it was a great hire,” Murray said.

The coaching and development Murray knows he’ll continue to receive in Iowa City was a big piece of his decision to return to the Hawkeyes.

“Yeah, I think we have the best coaches in the country honestly. We have a great coaching staff this year and they have the mentality to get me better and push me as hard as they can this year,” Murray said.

Getting to play Duke

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was announced that Iowa would be playing the Duke Blue Devils in Madison Square Garden in the 2022-23 season. Murray can’t wait for the opportunity to battle one of college basketball’s most prestigious programs.

“I was excited for it. When coach (McCaffery) called me saying that we were playing Duke at Madison Square Garden, I was, I mean, that’s kind of your dream come true as a kid. You want to play the best teams in one of the historically popular places in America,” Murray said.

A fan favorite at camp

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As one would expect, Murray was one of the most popular players at the Hawkeyes’ basketball camp.

“I think yesterday I got surrounded in the cafeteria by about a hundred kids. They’re screaming my name, so, I mean, it was kind of fun. A lot of them were wondering where Keegan is, and I’m like, I just got to tell them, ‘He doesn’t go to this school anymore,'” Murray said.

Murray will have the opportunity to follow Keegan’s footsteps and emerge as one of college basketball’s premier stars during the 2022-23 men’s college basketball season. Once it’s through, maybe the campers will be asking next year where Kris is at.

[listicle id=4038]

Contact/Follow us @HawkeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Iowa news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF

Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

1

1