They grow up so fast. Ideally all young Hawkeyes leave the nest and fly off on their own. This is what Mother Nature intends. After Keegan Murray soared off, most Hawk fans are hopeful that Kris Murray will test the NBA waters, get some excellent feedback, and return to the Hawkeyes an even better version of himself. That said, that is a selfish statement. Whatever is best for Kris Murray is best for Iowa basketball. The Murray family has seemingly pushed all of the right buttons in the development of Kris and Keegan. From prep school to the University of Iowa to the NBA. From all accounts, they are not only excellent basketball players, they are excellent people. My son and I stuck around after the Minnesota game this year. I was able to witness how accommodating the Hawks, including Kris and Keegan, were towards Hawkeye fans. It was not a bother for them to pose for a picture or to say a few words to a fan. They have been raised well and coached well to pay it forward. These little things are not little things. They also are a reason why NBA teams will covet the Murray boys on their teams and in their communities.
Selfishly HawkNation would love for Kris to return. If an NBA team decides to scoop Kris up before he blows up next year (and he will), that also will be a long-term win for Iowa basketball. If we look back to where Coach Fran McCaffery inherited the program to where it is now, there is a night and day difference in terms of talent. Iowa is churning out NBA talent on a consistent basis. The Hawkeyes went a few years without having a legitimate seven players on the roster.
Coach Fran on Kris Testing the Waters
As expected Coach McCaffery commented on Kris’ decision to receive NBA feedback. “We fully support Kris using this opportunity to receive NBA feedback. Kris took great strides and really came into his own last season. He is going through this process with a professional approach, and we are excited to see his game grow to another level.” - Coach McCaffery
If Kris does end up keeping his name in the NBA draft, Iowa wins. Kris will be yet another Hawkeye basketball player in The League. Good players want to play at the highest level. Iowa now can point to multiple players who have elevated their game to the pinnacle of the sport. If Kris decides to return to Iowa, Iowa wins. In the short term having Kris back will make next year’s team better, no doubt. He is a versatile, athletic player with length who can shoot from beyond the arc. His game will expand next year as he will play more minutes and he will have the ball in his hands more often in key moments.
My guess is that Kris Murray will be in a Hawkeye uniform next year. At the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me to see an NBA team bring him in, like what they see, and get a year’s worth of development out of Kris at a “bargain” price. Either way, it’s a Win-Win for the Hawks and the Murray family. As always, Go Hawks!