Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery refutes Keegan Murray’s low ceiling label

·2 min read

Many saw Iowa forward Keegan Murray as the high-floor, low-ceiling type of prospect. Just don’t let Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery hear that, though.

“Anybody who would bring that up is not worth listening to because they clearly don’t know anything about the game,” McCaffery said in a recent interview with Locked on Kings.

McCaffery didn’t mince words one bit defending his former star against anyone that would downplay Murray’s potential.

“It’s as idiotic of a statement as I’ve ever heard. Clearly, you are making a statement about who you are talking about. Because, if you do your homework, you would know that’s not the case,” McCaffery said.

There was a mixed reaction from fans on social media after Murray went No. 4 overall in the 2023 NBA draft to the Sacramento Kings. Many saw Purdue guard Jaden Ivey as a better prospect with a higher ceiling.

Ivey’s an extremely athletic guard in the mold of a Ja Morant. While he might not have the greatest floor with his 3-point shot still needing development and his turnovers remain a bit of a problem, many viewed his ceiling being as high as anyone’s in this draft and better than Murray’s.

McCaffery would not put down now-Detroit Piston Jaden Ivey to prop up Murray.

“I’m a big Jaden Ivey fan. I’ve coached against him for two years. I know his mother well. We were at Notre Dame together. I was an assistant coach, she was playing and coaching. I think the world of him,” McCaffery said.

He did say Murray was most likely a better fit for the Kings’ current roster, a point Hawkeyes Wire explored on draft night. With point guard De’Aaron Fox there, Ivey would have been an extremely similar player. He’s not a carbon copy at all, but both are explosive guards who can drive to the hoop. The Kings needed a secondary scorer from the wing who could shoot and play defense.

“He plays both ends, he doesn’t make mistakes, he makes plays for his teammates, he fits with his teammates, and he consistently performs. I think the hardest part for any general manager is to try and predict just how consistently a guy will be able to perform for 82 games. That is so incredibly hard to do. But I can promise you, Keegan Murray will be able to consistently perform for over 100 games,” McCaffery said.

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