Iowa men’s basketball player Kris Murray declared for the 2022 NBA Draft in April. His process took another step forward on Tuesday when the sophomore forward received an invitation to the NBA Combine, according to a report from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The Register has been able to confirm the report.
The combine will be held May 16-22 in Chicago.
Kris Murray joins twin brother Keegan as a combine invitee. Keegan is a projected lottery pick while Kris is going through the draft process but is keeping his college eligibility.
Kris Murray averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48% from the field and 38% from three-point range, second-highest on Iowa’s team. He progressed from a seldom-used freshman to a key bench player for Iowa en route to the Hawkeyes’ first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2006. His breakout season led to some NBA Draft buzz.
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“It’s almost like Kris is where Keegan was last year, except he’s growing into a more substantial offensive role,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said earlier this year. “When Keegan was out that game against Indiana (where Kris scored a career-high 29 points), I know they’re twins, but you’re almost doing a double-take like, ‘Did they swap jerseys?'”
The combine is often particularly important for early entrants who have yet to decide whether or not to stay in the draft. The feedback they get at the combine could go a long way toward dictating whether they keep their names in the draft or return to school for another year.
A solid combine performance could move Kris Murray firmly into the second round of the draft, or he could return to Iowa and with another breakout year potentially become a first-round pick. June 1 is the deadline for college players to retain their NCAA eligibility and withdraw their names from the draft pool.
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“I think it exposes you to what the process is,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Kris Murray entering the NBA Draft process. “Part of it is workouts, part of it is interviews — just getting a handle on what they’re looking for. He’s a guy who’s going to do well in those situations.
“I’d be excited for him to come back. He took an unbelievable step last year. We saw that and I think he’s ready to take another one. Kind of like his brother.”