Dickinson announces return to KU

Kansas center Hunter Dickinson (1) celebrates a tie-up with Baylor during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 at Allen Fieldhouse. Photo by Nick Krug

Updated 1:42 p.m. Friday:

Kansas will get its second-team All-American back for a second season.

Center Hunter Dickinson announced in a social media post Friday that he will use his fifth and final year of eligibility and return to KU for the 2024-25 season.

The announcement was prompted in rather lighthearted fashion by a post on X from head coach Bill Self — “Hey @H_Dickinson24, have you made a decision yet? Everybody wants to know what you’re thinking” — to which Dickinson responded, “Yeah you’re right coach. I guess it’s time to tell everyone I’m coming back! Rock Chalk!”

Dickinson committed to KU with much fanfare nearly a year ago as arguably the top player in the transfer portal and delivered on much of that promise, averaging 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds as the gravitational center of the Jayhawks’ offense.

He accomplished that despite dealing with injuries for much of the second half of the season. He battled a knee bruise in early January, for one, and then Self said at the team’s season-ending banquet that “Hunter wasn’t healthy for six weeks in late January up until the first of March.” Most notably, he dislocated his shoulder at Houston in the final game of conference play and had to wear a shoulder wrap when he returned for the NCAA Tournament.

In the opening game of the tournament he scored 19 points and grabbed 20 rebounds. That was his fourth 20-rebound game of the season, including potentially his best performance in the Champions Classic against Kentucky.

Another highlight came in the conference opener against TCU, when he drew a controversial flagrant foul late and then hit the game-winning layup to complete a 30-point performance.

“This is great news,” Self said in a press release. “We’ve had a lot of good things happen since the end of the season and Hunter coming back has definitely added to that. Hunter made a huge impact on our team last year. He played and fought through injuries and was still one of the most consistent players in the Big 12 and nationally. Not only is Hunter a terrific player, he’s a great leader and teammate. We expect him to contend for first-team All-American next season.”

Dickinson is a native of Alexandria, Virginia, and previously spent three seasons at Michigan.

He had been noncommittal about his future throughout the season. On the Field of 68 YouTube channel in January, he said he would make a decision based on team success and how he was “feeling in the moment.” On KU’s senior night (during which Dickinson gave a speech), Jayhawk fans chanted “One more year!”

There had been some clues he might return, as when incoming guard Zeke Mayo said in an interview with the Journal-World he looked forward to playing with “a center who can score from inside and out,” when Dickinson posted a meme on social media encouraging his former youth teammate Jeremy Roach to come to KU or, most simply, when KU did not (at least thus far) earn commitments from any post players in the transfer portal.

Dickinson may continue to face scrutiny on defense against ball screens in particular, and he also struggled at times with his outside shooting, at one point going 3-for-28 in a 13-game stretch of conference play.

In the meantime, his return ensures that KU will have a sufficiently threatening post presence to open up space for its newfound outside shooters.

Incoming freshman center Flory Bidunga and back-from-redshirting Zach Clemence should see time in the post as well.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.