6 Prospects Rockets Fans Need to Watch in the NCAA Tournament

N.B. Lindberg
Longwood v Tennessee
Longwood v Tennessee / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
4 of 7
Keegan Murray, Houston Rockets
Big Ten Tournament - Championship - Iowa v Purdue / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

Prospect #4: Keegan Murray F (Iowa)

ESPN Rank 5

Keegan Murray is similar to Eason in that he broke out as a sophomore, but his level of breakout took him from a bench player to possibly the best player in the entire country. Believing too much in college statistics is foolish, but Murray’s are just absurd. 

For the season, he is averaging 23.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game on 62% shooting on twos, 40.5% on threes, and 74.1% on free throws. Murray is 6’8 and appears capable of defending three through five at the NBA level. 

On defense, Murray may fall into that bucket of players that isn’t a good defender but is good enough across multiple positions that he provides positive defensive value. His playmaking and ball handling are still developing. However, if one of those traits really pops, he could be an All-Star offensive player. 

At the end of the day, the real appeal is the shooting touch combined with height. Watch two jump shots of Murray’s and you’ll be convinced that he’ll be able to score in bunches in the NBA. The rest of his skill set remains a bit of a mystery, but landing a lights-out shooter, who, by virtue of their height, will almost always be open, is not a band consolation if the Rockets fall out of the top-four. 

(Murray was unfortunately knocked out in the first round to 12th ranked Richmond. He scored 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting and added eight rebounds)