KU hoops notebook: Wilson, Dick honored, KU men up to 6th, Kansas women on the brink of being ranked

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) moves to the bucket against Seton Hall guard Femi Odukale (21) during the first half on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas men’s basketball forward Jalen Wilson was named the Big 12 Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday, earning the award for the first time this season and the second time in his KU career.

Wilson was one of two Jayhawks honored this week, with freshman guard Gradey Dick also earning a co-Newcomer of the Week nod with Baylor freshman Keyonte George.

In wins over Texas Southern and Seton Hall last week, Wilson hit TSU for 22 points — his fifth 20-point game of the season — and Seton Hall with a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double, which was also his fifth double-double of the season, best in the Big 12 to date.

Wilson’s 21 career double-doubles have him tied for 11th on the KU career list with Eric Chenowith. Wilson’s 197 points through the season’s first nine games are the second most through nine games in the Bill Self era, trailing only Ochai Agbaji’s 202 points last season.

Dick earned the newcomer honor for the second time and played a big role in both of KU’s wins. His 15.3 points per game average leads all Big 12 freshmen and his 24 3-pointers through nine games are the second most in the conference to date.

Wilson, Dick and the Jayhawks will enjoy a slow week this week, gearing up for Saturday’s clash with unbeaten Missouri in Columbia.

It will mark the first KU-MU game in Columbia since the 2011-12 season and tipoff is slated for 4:15 p.m. on ESPN.

The Jayhawks defeated the Tigers 102-65 last season at Allen Fieldhouse in the first meeting between the bitter border rivals in nearly a decade. The KU-MU series dates back to 1908 and Kansas leads 175-95. The Jayhawks have won three in a row and eight of the last nine meetings with MU.

Jayhawks jump in poll

The Kansas men’s basketball team moved up three spots in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll from No. 9 to No. 6.

Kansas is the second-highest ranked Big 12 team in this week’s poll, behind No. 2 Texas and ahead of No. 12 Baylor, No. 20 Iowa State and No. 24 TCU.

Texas Tech, West Virginia and Kansas State all received votes in this week’s poll, which did not feature North Carolina, the country’s No. 1-ranked team in the preseason poll. The Tar Heels were the second-fastest preseason No. 1 to fall out of the poll since the 1961-62 season, trailing only UCLA, which fell out in three weeks during the 1965-66 season.

Initial NET Rankings

Kansas checked in at No. 18 in the NCAA’s initial NET rankings, which were also released on Monday.

The NET (NCAA Tournament Evaluation Tool) is a fairly new ranking system used by the NCAA to seed its postseason tournament.

The rankings will be updated every day from now through Selection Sunday in March, with teams being rewarded for more Quadrant 1 wins, road success and their strength of schedule.

The Jayhawks (8-1) are currently 1-1 in Quadrant 1 games, 2-0 in Quadrant 2 games, 1-0 in Quadrant 3 games and 4-0 in Quadrant 4 games.

KU women on the brink

The Kansas women’s basketball team’s 7-0 start has brought them to the brink of being ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 women’s hoops poll.

KU was the top team receiving votes in this week’s poll, with 37 points, eight points behind No. 25 Villanova.

Kansas (7-0) will play at No. 12 Arizona (7-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday and a win — or perhaps even a good showing — in that game would almost certainly move the Jayhawks into the Top 25 next week.

The KU women also debuted at No. 29 in the women’s hoops NET rankings.

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