Incoming transfer Hunter Dickinson is the piece that Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks have been waiting for
On the morning of May 4th, Hunter Dickinson made his announcement that he would be transferring to the University of Kansas. Dickinson was regarded as the best player in the transfer portal by most media outlets.
The Kansas Jayhawks have had an interesting offseason, with six players entering the portal and three entering the draft. They quickly got to work on replacing them, adding four freshmen, and Nick Timberlake and Arterio Morris in the transfer portal. Still, they were missing the biggest piece of the puzzle, and they got it with Dickinson.
— Hunter Dickinson (@H_Dickinson24) May 4, 2023
What are Hunter Dickinson’s strengths?
At 7’1, 260 pounds, Dickinson’s mere size makes him nearly unguardable on the floor. He has a soft touch around the rim, can rebound well thanks to his size, and showed this year his ability to stretch the floor, shooting 42.1% from three last season.
While he isn’t necessarily a defensive specialist, he adds help near the rim, averaging 1.8 blocks per game last season. He can make the big-time shots and has the experience needed in college basketball to perform in big-time games, as we’ve seen over the past three seasons.
He’s made the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament twice in his college career, which is very important in college to have this experience. He scored over 30 points three times last season, including a monstrous 32 point, 16 rebound, 3 block performance against Illinois on the road late in the season.
How does Hunter Dickinson fit with the Kansas Jayhawks?
Everyone who follows college basketball knows how much Bill Self loves his centers. We’ve seen the transformation of guys like Udoka Azuibuike, Perry Ellis, and Thomas Robinson to name a few. Now he gets Dickinson, who might be more talented than all three of them. Coach Self will provide Dickinson with more paint touches than he’s ever seen before, and more importantly, he will be playing alongside one of the smartest passers in the country in Dajuan Harris.
The pick and roll have been extremely successful for Kansas since Dajuan Harris took the starting point guard job, and with a big body like Hunter, they can execute that to perfection time and time again. Additionally, with Dickinson’s three-point ability, they will be able to mix in pick and pops to throw off the defense and allow for open shots.
Dickinson’s ability to stretch the floor will also allow his teammates to get better shots. The paint won’t be clogged, and players will be able to cut and get better looks because of this. If Dickinson molds into Self’s system, he could be the best player in the country next year.
Overall fit grade & final thoughts
This is an absolute homerun for both sides. No coach will be able to tap into Dickinson’s potential like Self, and the Kansas Jayhawks needed a guy like Dickinson to complete the roster. Size was a big issue for them last year, with KJ Adams playing center at 6’7. Now, with a 7’1 replacement, they will be able to look a lot better on defense and rebound at a higher rate.
With the roster they have now, Kansas might only be the team to beat in the Big 12, but in the whole country. Never bet against Bill Self, and this further cements another potential championship year for the Kansas Jayhawks.