Kris Murray already in thin air

Kris Murray makes a number of people look pretty smart, including himself.

It might have surprised some Hawkeye fans when he thoroughly explored the NBA’s drafting waters last summer, but now it’s easy to see why teams have started to be blown away by his potential.

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The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward made the decision to return to Iowa, and now he’s already accomplished a feat unmatched by any other Division I player in the past 25 years.

In the first four games of the season, Kris Murray has scored 95 or more points, 30+ rebounds, five turnovers or fewer, shot 60% from the field and 100% from the free throw line. Per OptaSTATSno other Division I player in the past 25 years has accomplished that feat over the course of four games.

Right now, Murray is shooting 62.5% from the field, has made all 14 of his free throw attempts, scored 95 points and accumulated 32 rebounds.

There are obviously many comparisons between Murray and his twin brother, Keegan Murray, who was a consensus first-team All-American and Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year with the Hawkeyes last season.

However, Kris is focused on forging his own path.

“I think people compare us a lot and he definitely had a really good season last year so it would be easy to just fall in his shadow I think but I know I’m not the same person as him. I’m doing my own thing in Iowa and trying to take this team as far as possible. So, I think we’re two different players, two different people, and I think it just gives me a little bit more motivation to do what he did, a little bit more,” Kris Murray said after the Hawkeyes’ win over omaha

Iowa men’s head basketball coach Fran McCaffery almost considered letting him in the game against Omaha so Kris could chase a larger number than the career high he registered in the scoring column. In the end, the risk outweighed the reward.

“I would have liked to have let him in and he could have made a really big number, but we’re not going to get anywhere with that. I will not hurt him. Got him out of there but he’s been cooking in there for a while and the good thing is we’ve really started looking for him and that’s what you need to do. When you’ve got a guy that’s doing this well, you gotta load it up and wait and bring it to him. Don’t rush the ball when you’ve got a guy who’s so on fire. Let it happen and keep going to him,” McCaffery said.

As for expectations, McCaffery said Kris is more than ready for them.

“I think he welcomes it. He wants that. He’s a lot louder than ever. I mean, he’s not the overly loud type 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 do,” McCaffery said.

Iowa next heads to the Emerald Coast Classic for several tough tests in the early stages of this 2022-23 season. The Hawkeyes play Clemson at 6 p.m. Friday and then play either TCU or Cal.

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