Over the last three season, Iowa Hawkeye fans have been thoroughly spoiled. We all watched in wonder as Luka Garza developed from a skilled prep who lacked elite quickness and athleticism into one of the best players in the conference and eventually the country.
After a 67 year drought, Garza became the Hawkeyes’ first consensus All-American since Chuck Darling in 1952 when he earned the honors in 2020. Then Garza became the only Hawkeye to do it twice when he returned in 2021 to be not only a consensus All-American, but also the National Player of the Year.
Now, the Hawkeyes are making more history as Keegan Murray has become just the fourth player in program history to be named a consensus 1st Team All-American, making it three consecutive seasons Iowa has had a player earn the honors.
It’s an unreal run of success for the Hawkeyes and on a completely different level in terms of individual success than any other period in program history. A full 60% of Iowa’s 1st Team All-America seasons have come in three consecutive years . The only other players to earn the honors, Murray Wier in 1948 and Chuck Darling in 1952, did so before color TV was invented (1953).
Murray officially earned the honors on Thursday when the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) named him to the first team, along with Kofi Cockburn of Illinois, Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, Ochai Agbaji of Kansas and Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky. Beyond the USBWA, Murray has been named First Team All-America by the Sporting News, The Athletic and the Associated Press. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), somehow, voted Murray to the second team with Purdue’s Jaden Ivey taking his spot on the first team.
That’s not Murray’s first snub this season as Iowa’s superstar broke the program’s streak of Big Ten Player of the Year awards after Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis took home those honors. This despite Murray being one of only three players in the history of the Big Ten conference to be named player of the week 6+ times in a single season. Davis earned the honors three times.
Murray is the only player in the country to average 23+ points, 8+ rebounds and 2+ blocks per game and just one of three players over the last decade to do so. He’s tops in the nation in Player Efficiency Rating (38.2), win share (8.5), offensive win share (6.5), win share per 40 minutes (.314), box plus/minus (15.9), offensive box plus/minus (13.2), 20+ point games (25) and 25+ point games (16). He is fourth nationally in scoring at 23.6 points per game and tops among major conference players.
The incredible scoring pace has led Murray to be the only player in program history to ever score 800+ points in a single season. His 801 points this year is a new program record, topping the 747 mark set by Luka Garza just a season ago. Garza and Murray are the only players in program history to ever top 700 points in a season.
In addition to the All-America honors, Murray became the third player in Iowa history to win Big Ten Tournament MVP honors after he led the Hawkeyes to their first tournament championship in 16 seasons last weekend. His 103 points in four games set a new Big Ten Tournament record.
Murray was a First Team All-Big Ten selection and has been named a John R Wooden Award semifinalist, Naismith Player of the Year Trophy semifinalist, Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year finalist and made the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Midseason List.
As the accolades continue to pile up and the Hawkeyes continue to garner national recognition from their recent success, Murray and Iowa will look make more history this weekend in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes open up as a 5 seed taking on 12th seed Richmond from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. Tip time is set for 2:10pm CT on Thursday, March 17th. The game will be broadcast on TruTV.