Freshmen Hawkeyes flash potential on opening day

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Five true freshmen and one redshirt freshman are on the Iowa men’s basketball team for the 2020-2021 season. After Wednesday’s 97-67 victory, two, in particular, stood out and proved their immediate worth for a championship competing team: Keegan Murray and Patrick McCaffery.

Redshirt freshman Patrick McCaffery, son of head coach Fran McCaffery, had 16 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench and was the focal point of the Hawkeyes 20-2 run in the first half that changed the momentum of the game.

True freshman Keegan Murray saw 20 minutes of action and was able to post 12 points and 7 rebounds. Most of his impact was seen underneath the basket with rebounds and putbacks but showed his outside game after hitting back-to-back threes midway through the second half.

Keegan Murray hits back-to-back threes for the Hawkeyes against the NCCU Eagles on November 25, 2020

“I had a little butterflies at first,” said Murray. “But once I got on the court I know my teammates trust me and my coaching staff trusts me. Just because of that I felt confident on the court.”

While this was Keegan’s first collegiate game, it was not his first time playing with Patrick McCaffery. With Keegan and his twin brother Kris growing up in Cedar Rapids and McCaffery living in Iowa City, the two competed against each other often in AAU ball. Now, they’re glad to be playing together in college.

“Battling him in high school was great competition for me, as well as my brother,” said Murray. “Just growing up, being on the same team as him, he really accepted me onto the team early on and that translated onto the court today.”

“It’s fun, I really like playing with them,” said McCaffery. “They’re both very cerebral. They’re twins obviously but they’re very different personality-wise and what they do on the court. I feel like, yeah we all kind of play the same position but we all bring different things to the table and they’ll have great careers for us.”

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