BLOG: Why Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson would be a great fit for KU and what to like about his game

Michigan's Hunter Dickinson eyes the basket during an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois Thursday, March 2, 2023, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

There’s still a long way to go in the quest to land former Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson, who recently became the hottest commodity in the transfer portal.

And there certainly is no shortage of programs interested in adding the 7-foot-1, 255-pound center to their roster for the 2023-24 college hoops season.

It appears that Kansas is one of those — as it should be — and the Jayhawks figure to have as much to offer as just about any program out there.

From a Hall of Fame coach calling the shots to unique history and tradition, a bonkers fan base and nearly unparalleled success on the court during the past 20 years, KU seemingly could offer Dickinson just about everything he could want from his final season of college ball.

And then there’s the Kansas perspective and why Bill Self and the Jayhawks would be interested in Dickinson in the first place.

After a year of playing extremely small and getting by with 6-foot-7 forward KJ Adams at the 5, the addition of Dickinson would give Kansas that player that they can throw the ball to in the post at any point during any possession with the expectation that he can go get a bucket.

Think of what David McCormack became for his final 10-15 games as a Jayhawk and then inject that thought with steroids.

If KU is able to land Dickinson, I can’t imagine him not touching the ball on nearly every possession.

One, because there’s little doubt that Self would be more than willing to make up for nearly an entire season of not doing that by going back to it with a vengeance with a player of Dickinson’s caliber in the fold. Two, because, in senior point guard Dajuan Harris Jr., Self and the Jayhawks have a player running the offense who absolutely loves to pass first, pass second and then pass some more.

The mere thought of what Harris and Dickinson could do together in the pick-and-roll game is mind blowing.

Again, though, Dickinson will have other suitors, and it’s by no means anything close to a lock that he’s coming to Kansas.

In the event that he does, though, here’s a quick look at three things that stood out to me about his three-year career at Michigan.

• Although he didn’t play every game of his sophomore and junior seasons, he did play in most of them. And he started every game he played in. That included all 34 games this season and 32 games last season. He also started the final 23 games of the 2020-21 season after starting his career on the bench. He leaves Michigan having averaged 30.6 minutes per game in 94 career appearances.

• He’s certainly not known for his 3-point shooting, but Dickinson’s 3-point prowess did pick up as his career progressed. After attempting just four 3-pointers as a freshman, he shot 64 as a sophomore and 57 as a junior, making 21 during the 2021-22 season and 24 this past season. Wherever he lands, it’s his size and skill down low that will be viewed as his biggest strength. But in today’s game, and with the mismatches that different lineups can create, having the ability to step out and hit shots from the perimeter could be a legitimate weapon and create major problems for opposing defenses trying to keep him out of the paint out of the pick-and-roll.

• Although Dickinson was labeled a 4-star athlete out of high school by Rivals, 247 and ESPN, he entered the college ranks with the polish of a much higher-ranked player. Never known as an explosive athlete, Dickinson showed throughout high school and his days at Michigan that his physicality and understanding of the game could make him even more dangerous than even his size would suggest. 247 Sports recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer said Dicksinson was a “good basketball IQ” and was a good “positional defender and rebounder.” His non-scoring and rebounding stats show how prepared he was for the college game, with his blocks, assists and steals going up in each of his seasons at Michigan. Even his fouls dropped by 24 from his sophomore to his junior season, and that was with him playing two more games.

Harrison Ingram to visit KU

In other transfer portal news on Wednesday, 247 Sports’ Eric Bossi reported that Stanford wing Harrison Ingram is expected to visit KU sometime early next week.

According to the report, Ingram is expected to host Baylor, North Carolina and Texas A&M for in-home visits this week.

Bossi noted that the 6-foot-7, 230-pound wing who averaged 10.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in his two seasons with Stanford, does not have any official timeline for a decision but also is not expected to take too long to make his decision.

Because of the departures of five players from the 2022-23 roster, KU has at least three scholarships to give to players currently in the portal. Self said last week that he would like to add a big man, a wing or two and some legitimate outside shooting. Dickinson and Ingram certainly fit into that plan.


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