116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — There are 350 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams, 348 in women’s basketball.
So it doesn’t take a statistics professor to know the odds of one school having the scoring leader in both is infinitesimal. Yet …
Entering Tuesday’s games, Iowa had the nation’s leading women’s and men’s scorers.
The only other school that has men’s and women’s players in the top 20 of scoring (and with one of each topping 20 ppg) is St. John’s. As of Tuesday afternoon, both Leilani Correa and Julian Champagnie of the Red Storm were ranked 15th in scoring.
Besides having Irish first names and being Iowans with multiple talents on the court, Caitlin and Keegan aren’t similar in many ways. Caitlin is a point guard who is fourth in the nation in assists per game. Keegan is a power forward, a good shot-blocker.
Caitlin, as Nebraska fans would attest after seeing Clark’s Hawkeyes defeat their Huskers Sunday in Lincoln, shares her emotions with the world during games. Murray is about as close to the vest with his feelings as players get.
But both are aggressive, both score in flurries, and both play with great vision and purpose. Both have been a Big Ten Player of the Week three times this season, and we aren’t halfway through January.
Tuesday, I asked Murray, his brother, and his head coach what they saw in Clark.
“She’s fun to watch,” Iowa forward Kris Murray said. “I think that’s the biggest thing.
“She definitely gives you that feeling that you could do anything, just because of how fearless she is.”
“Her game is next-level,” Hawkeyes men’s coach Fran McCaffery said. “It always has been.
“She does things on the floor in terms of what she sees, it’s stuff you don’t see all the time. When you see it, you know it’s special.
“She doesn't really have any weaknesses in her game that I've seen. I think her energy level is infectious on top of the fact that her skill set is so incredibly complete.”
Keegan Murray said he and Clark “are really good friends.” Game recognizes game, as they say.
“Her game is really aggressive,” Keegan Murray said. “She takes pride in getting to her spots and also feeding her teammates.
“I just think she has that ability to take over a game. That’s kind of something that you look for in one of your top players.”
Something else you don’t need to be a statistics professor to know: It’s overwhelmingly probable we’ll see Clark and Murray in the WNBA and NBA, respectively, in the not-too-distant future.
“She is somebody that could very definitely be the first pick in the draft whenever she decides to come out, in my opinion,” McCaffery said.
Both Iowa teams resume play Thursday. The Hawkeye women are at Purdue at 6 p.m., while the Iowa men host Indiana at 8. Iowa’s women play Nebraska at home next Sunday at 5 p.m., four hours after the start of the Iowa-Minnesota men’s game in Minneapolis.
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