Murray exuding confidence while dominating Cal Classic


Keegan Murray was the brightest star for the Kings in three California Classic games.

Sacramento's No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft impressed immediately in his summer league debut on Saturday, struggled in his second game on Sunday and closed out the tournament with a dominant performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Murray ended up leading the entire tournament with 19.7 points per game, finished second in rebounds with 8.0 and was tied for second in plus-minus with a mark of plus-13 all while averaging 30.1 minutes per game. 

Kings summer league coach Jordi Fernández was impressed with Murray's consistency and versatility on both ends of the floor. 

"Just very steady, very efficient," Fernández told reporters after Tuesday's game. "Last game, he probably over-thought or just ... sometimes it's a bad game. But he came in today, he was aggressive, 9-for-19, seven rebounds. Like we said, he's playing on both ends of the floor which is very important, not just in summer league, but for the Sacramento Kings. That's just going to make us be a really good team, so very impressed so far with Keegan and now moving into Vegas, I'm just excited for him."

Murray, a soft-spoken, even-keeled 21-year-old, has no shortage of confidence and it hasn't wavered one bit after his first taste of the professional level. 

"I think just keeping my confidence at an all-time high, guys around me that never let my confidence waver," Murray told reporters after the game. "And throughout the years I've felt like my confidence has stayed the same and even grown.

"I think for me, I feel like I've played well. I feel like consistency needs to be there a little bit more, but my confidence hasn't wavered at all. I feel like this is a good start for me and my career and I just want to learn as much as I can going into Vegas, because I know there's going to be good games and there might be not good games, so for me, it's just being a team player and having the team around me to support me. 

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Murray has fit in seamlessly with his new teammates. He's attentive, laid-back and already has been a good teammate. 

"Very good teammate, really smart, listens ... this kid is all about doing the right things," Fernández said. "As I've said, he's been excellent with his teammates. Yesterday, the team put together this dinner for Fourth of July and we went bowling. He was there and not just him, but the whole team connected very well. 

"It just tells you who he is. He doesn't say much, but he's always there. He seems like a great pro."

All-in-all, Murray's first summer league series was a resounding success and should provide enough fuel to carry him throughout the Las Vegas tournament and into training camp, where he will prepare to carve out an immediate role for himself this season. 

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