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Murray named finalist for Naismith Trophy

Keegan Murray is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy.
Keegan Murray is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Tuesday the four finalists vying for the honor of the 2022 Naismith Trophy, which includes University of Iowa men’s basketball sophomore forward Keegan Murray. The prestigious award recognizes the most outstanding men’s college basketball player.

Joining Murray as a finalist for the award are Ochai Agbaji of Kansas, Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, and Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky. The University of Iowa is the only school to have both a men’s and women’s basketball student-athlete represented as a 2022 finalist; Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is a finalist for the women’s trophy.

This marks the third consecutive season that Iowa has had a Naismith Trophy Finalist: Luka Garza (2020 and 2021) and Murray (2022). Garza was the recipient of the award last year.

Hawkeye fans can vote for Murray from March 22-29, by visiting naismithfanvote.com. Fans may also vote on the @NaismithTrophy Twitter page. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote.

The men’s ceremony to award the 2022 Naismith Trophy for Men’s Player of the Year will take place Sunday, April 3, at the Naismith Awards Brunch during the Final Four in New Orleans.

Last week, Murray became the program’s fourth consensus first-team All-American, joining Murray Wier (1948), Charles Darling (1952), and Garza (2020 and 2021).

Murray is also a Wooden Award Semifinalist, a Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Finalist, and named to the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Midseason List.

Murray (6-foot-8, 225 pounds) ranks first in the country in Player Efficiency Rating (37.8); fourth in points per game (23.5); 36th in field goal percentage (.554); 46th in blocks per contest (1.94); and 49th in double-doubles (10). His 23.5 points per game average is tops among players from a major conference. Murray is the only player nationally to average 23+ points and 8+ rebounds this season.

Murray averaged 7.2 points per game last year and is averaging 23.5 this season (+16.3). The last Big Ten player to increase his scoring by 16 points per game from one season to the next was Illinois’ Rick Schmidt, who went from 3.8 ppg in 1972-73 to 21.4 ppg in 1973-74 (+17.6).

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native tallied 20+ points 26 times and 25+ points 16 times this season, both of which rank first nationally. Murray was voted the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player after totaling a tournament record 103 points and 38 field goals made in four games in leading the Hawkeyes to their third tournament championship and first since 2006.

He was named Big Ten Player of the Week a program-best six times this season (Nov. 22; Dec. 20; Jan. 3; Feb. 14; Feb. 28, March 6). Murray joins Ohio State’s Evan Turner (7 in 2009-10) and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan (6 in 2016-17) as the only Big Ten players since the weekly award was introduced prior to the 1981-82 season to earn six or more weekly honors by the Big Ten in a single season.

2022 KEEGAN MURRAY HONORS

• Naismith Player of the Year Trophy Finalist

• Consensus First Team All-America

Sporting News First Team All-America

Associated Press First Team All-America

• USBWA First Team All-America

The Athletic First Team All-America

• NABC Second Team All-America Team

• NABC First Team All-District Team

• USBWA All-District VI Team

• All-Big Ten First Team honoree (unanimous)

• Associated Press All-Big Ten First Team selection (unanimous)

• John R. Wooden Award National Ballot (Semifinalist)

• Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and All-Tournament Team

• Lute Olson National Player of the Year Midseason List

• Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Finalist

• NABC First Team All-District

The Athletic Midseason Second Team All-America

• Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week (Feb. 14)

• Big Ten Co-Player of the Week (March 7)

• Big Ten Player of the Week (Feb. 28)

• Big Ten Co-Player of the Week (Feb. 14)

• Big Ten Player of the Week (Jan. 3)

• Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 20)

• Big Ten Co-Player of the Week (Nov. 22)