Kris Murray is making a number of people look pretty smart, himself included.
It might have taken some Hawkeye fans by surprise when he thoroughly explored the NBA draft waters last summer, but it’s easy to see now why teams have started falling all over themselves with his potential.
The 6-foot-8, 220 pound forward made the decision to return to Iowa and now he’s already accomplished a feat that no other Division I player has in the past 25 years.
Through the season’s first four games, Kris Murray has scored 95 or more points, grabbed 30-plus rebounds, had five or fewer turnovers, shot 60% from the field and 100% from the free throw line. Per OptaSTATS, no other Division I player in the past 25 years has accomplished that feat over the course of any four-game span.
Right now, Murray is shooting 62.5% from the field, has made all 14 of his free throw attempts, scored 95 points and collected 32 rebounds.
There’s obviously plenty of comparisons between Murray and his twin brother Keegan Murray, who was a consensus first-team All-American and the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year last season with the Hawkeyes.
Kris is focused on carving his own path, though.
“I think people get into comparing us a lot and he definitely had a really good season last year, so it would be easy to kind of just fall into his shadow I guess, but I know that I’m not the same person as him. I’m doing my own thing at Iowa, trying to take this team as far as I can. So, I think we’re two different players, two different people and I guess it just gives me a little motivation to kind of do what he did a little bit more,” Kris Murray said after the Hawkeyes’ win over Omaha.
Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery had half a mind to leave him in versus Omaha to let Kris chase a larger number than the career high he registered in the scoring column. Ultimately, the risk outweighed the reward.
“I’d like to have left him in there and he could have really gone for a big number, but we’re not going to accomplish anything with that. I’m not going to get him hurt. Got him out of there, but he was really cooking there for a while and the good thing is we really started looking for him and that’s what you’ve got to do. When you’ve got a guy who’s going good like that, you’ve got to load him up and you’ve got to wait and get it to him. Don’t quick-shoot the ball when you’ve got a guy on fire like that. Let it happen and keep going to him,” McCaffery said.
As far as the expectations, McCaffery said Kris is more than ready for them.
“I think he welcomes it. That’s what he wants. He’s way more vocal than he’s ever been. I mean, he’s not a guy that’s overly vocal anyway. He’s more vocal than Keegan, but now he knows what’s expected of him, what’s expected of us, what we need to be doing,” McCaffery said.
Twitter reacts to another Kris Murray career high in scoring, Iowa Hawkeyes' win over Omaha
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