Iowa’s basketball recruiting class doubled in size Monday with the addition of two players with familiar names from a familiar family.
Keegan and Kris Murray, the twin sons of former Iowa player Kenyon Murray, both made verbal commitments to play for the Hawkeyes following a weekend visit to the Iowa campus.
The Murrays played as seniors at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School last season and are now attending DME Academy, a prep school in Daytona, Beach, Florida. They will enter Iowa as freshmen next fall.
They join a recruiting class that added Indianapolis guard Tony Perkins on Sunday and which already included Ahron Ulis, a point guard from Chicago Heights, Illinois.
The Hawkeyes are slated to have only four open scholarships but that is likely to change between now and next season.
They still are pursuing a few other players, including Oskaloosa 7-footer Xavier Foster and 6-9 Josh Ogundele of Worcester, Massachusetts. Both those players are expected to announce decisions shortly before the Nov. 13-20 early signing period.
The Murray brothers had only one Division I scholarship offer — from Western Illinois — coming out of Prairie last spring, which is why they opted to attend prep school.
Getting matching offers from a major conference program about a half hour from where they grew up was too much to pass up.
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“First of all, to see them realize their dream of playing Division I college basketball, as parents, it just makes my wife (Michelle) and I very happy,” Kenyon Murray told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “Then for it to be at my alma mater, that’s just icing on the cake.”
Kenyon Murray was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 1992 through 1996, appearing in 124 games. He finished his career with 1,230 points (23rd on Iowa’s career list), averaged 4.6 rebounds per game and led the Hawkeyes in steals in each of his first two seasons.
Keegan, who is 6-8, and Kris, who is 6-7, both put up impressive numbers for Prairie last season. Keegan averaged 20.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while Kris averaged 18.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Each of them shot better than 52 percent from the field and made more than 30 3-point field goals. Keegan also shot 87 percent from the free throw line.
Kris told 247Sports that the twins didn’t just choose Iowa because their father had played there.
“But him going there and us going there, too, it’s probably one of the coolest things to ever happen in my life,’’ he added. “A lot of people knew him there and now Keegan and I are going to carry on the tradition.”
Keegan told 247Sports that he feels both he and his brother have improved considerably just since the end of last season.
“Physically, I’ve gotten stronger and I’ve been able to get through contact more," he said. "My versatility is gone a long way from when I was in high school and over the summer to the month I’ve been here (in Daytona Beach). I’ve been able to have a quicker first step and be able to get around guys. My consistency with shooting has been a lot better, I think.”