It is official, the Kansas Jayhawks land the commitment from Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson was the number one recruit in the transfer portal and now he joins Bill Selfs squad for 2023-24. Hunter Dickinson has to be one of the most anticipated transfer players in recent memory. KU now has a big man that can do just about everything on the court.
The Kansas Jayhawks fell short in the 2022 national tournament ending an incredible run for Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar. KU also lost Gradey Dick to the NBA Draft as well as numerous players transferring out of KU. Reloading with guys like Hunter Dickinson is a baller move. Here are three reasons the Hunter Dickinson commitment makes KU elite once again in 2023.
Hunter Dickinson = Center Of Offense
Bill Self has made it a staple of his offense to have a big man in the middle of the floor and guards surrounding them for support. The success Self had with guys like David McCormack and Udoka Azubuike speak to that offensive setup. Last year, KJ Adams was utilized in this role for his athleticism and defense but lacked the size at only 6-foot-7.
In steps Dickinson at 7-foot-1, 260 pounds and every bit of the defense, athleticism and size KU needs. He would step into the center of this offense with his ability to be the main scoring threat in every single game. Dickinson can also pass the ball out of the post and having KJ Adams at the other forward spot could open up more alley oops and back door cut situations.
While having a big that plays good defense has not been missing from recent KU lineups, Dickinson brings the ability to guard out on the perimeter much like KJ last season. Dickinson averaged 1.8 blocks per game last season as well as nearly one steal per game. He might not be able to guard fast point guards but he has shown the ability to guard basically everyone else.
Dickinson is the kind of defensive presence where it will derail an opposing offense because they want to avoid the paint. His height and 7-foot-3 wingspan gives him the ability to block anything within reach and deflect passes at ease. Having the full Hunter Dickinson defensive package is something KU will want to make great use of in 2023-24.
Spreading The Floor/Fast Breaks
This final reason goes back to the offensive side of the ball. Hunter might not be the “get on the run and catch an alley oop” type guy but he can start a break. He has shown he has the vision and ability to make long outlet passes that get easy fast break points. A good comparison would be Kevin Love throwing outlet passes to LeBron. With him being such a dominant rebounder, starting the fast break is an easy skill he has added over the years.
As mentioned before, he also can shoot the three fairly well. Fairly is the correct term because he mostly scores in the paint but when he does shoot the long ball, he is shooting 42%. KU has not had the luxury of a big man that can shoot from anywhere on the floor. David McCormack could shoot the jumper occasionally but stuck to the paint. While Dickinson scores in the paint for over 50% of shots, the three ball is something KU lives by and having a big man that can now shoot from outside, is going to be a big time addition.
Hunter Dickinson is going to be the best transfer portal player Bill Self gets until further notice. They also managed to add Towson grad transfer Nick Timberlake from the portal. Timberlake is an elite three point shooter hitting at a clip of 41% last season which is only part of his 17 points per game.
Thought I was done? KU also added former Texas guard Arterio Morris who is only a sophomore. Finally, the four freshman, PG Elmarko Jackson, SG Chris Johnson, SG Jamari McDowell, and SF Marcus Adams will round out this roster very nicely. The veteran leadership of Dajaun Harris, KJ Adams and now Hunter Dickinson will all but set up that group of freshman to be elite playmakers down the road.
This Kansas roster might be one of the better rosters in Bill Selfs history, at least on paper. If this roster can put it together and play well as a unit, they might be able to beat anyone they play. Keep an eye on the Jayhawks once again as they should be favorites to win their second national title in three seasons with this roster.