Iowa men’s basketball forward Kris Murray seeking his Hawkeye legacy

With his twin brother in the NBA, Murray wants to establish his own path as a Hawkeye during his junior season.


Grace Smith

Iowa forward Kris Murray laughs with members of the media during an Iowa men’s basketball media availability at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Kris’ photo appeared on the big screen when his brother, Keegan Murray, got announced for his pick. “I guess they just picked the better looking twin.”

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

As Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray was playing his way to an NBA Summer League MVP honor earlier in July, his twin brother had a chance to see him compete in Las Vegas.

Iowa men’s basketball junior forward Kris Murray opted out of the opportunity.

“I can’t just take a week off,” Kris said. “Even though I love Keegan, I’ll support him through everything. But we had a week of workouts, and I can’t miss those. I can watch him on TV, too. I can always call him whenever. My family got to go out there for the whole week, I think, so he was pretty excited to have them there.”

With Keegan heading into the 2022-23 NBA season as a strong NBA Rookie of the Year candidate following a 23.3-point and 7.3-rebound per game performance in the summer league, Kris is trying to create his own legacy in the Black and Gold.

In his sophomore campaign at Iowa, Kris averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 assists over 35 contests. That led him to become a co-winner of the program’s most improved player award.

RELATED: Kris Murray discusses NBA Draft process after returning to Iowa men’s basketball

During the same year, Keegan set the single-season scoring record for the program with 822 points and was a consensus first-team All-American.

Following the 2021-22 season, Kris decided to test the NBA Draft process but removed his name before the deadline to stay in the draft. Yet at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the NBA Draft was hosted on June 23, Kris’s photo popped up when the Kings selected Keegan with the No. 4 overall pick.

“I guess they just picked the better-looking twin,” Kris said, noting Keegan wasn’t happy with the mix-up.

Kris acknowledged it was an adjustment the first week of summer practice, as for the first time in his life, he wasn’t suiting up next to his brother.

“We got competitive guys,” Kris said. “[Keegan and I] were always competitive so that hasn’t dropped off at all.”

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said Kris accepted the challenge to return and bet on himself considering he was offered two-way contracts in the NBA, mentioning the 6-foot-8 forward wants the responsibility of success because of his high expectations.

Kris said he sees himself as more of a facilitator than his brother and told reporters to expect a different stat line than that of his brother with Iowa’s balanced roster.

Kris sees the byproduct of Keegan’s time with the Hawkeyes as a platform the program can build on, and Kris is trying to make sure he’s on the court when the Hawkeyes need him.

“I’ve been working a lot on my upper body, my core strength, my lower body, my mobility just to keep that so I don’t have injuries,” Kris Murray said. “I’ve been taking care of myself a lot just because I don’t want to get sick like I did last year because that kind of lingered throughout the Big Ten season. I’m just working really hard in the weight room. We all are. I think I’ve gained three or four more pounds of muscles these last couple of months.”