Expectations are sky high for this year’s Kansas basketball team. They’re ranked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country by the majority of sports media outlets and have an experienced roster that gives them one of the best odds to cut down the nets in April.
To no surprise, a large part of that preseason hype is due to the addition of star center Hunter Dickinson.
The 7-foot-2 transfer from Michigan was the No. 1 transfer available this past offseason due to his average of 18.5 points scoring and 9 rebounds per game last year for the Wolverines. As a result, he earned All-Big Ten honors for the third consecutive year.
That proven display of talent and ability has earned Dickinson both Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors for this upcoming season – making him the first player in conference history to earn that distinction in the same season.
Dickinson was also named Preseason First Team All-Big 12, along with veteran KU point guard Dajuan Harris Jr.
Harris averaged 8.9 points, 6.2 assists, and 2.2 steals last season for the Jayhawks on his way to being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
His numbers have improved every year since he stepped foot on campus, and it’s reasonable to think they’ll improve again this season with the talent surrounding him.
The third Jayhawk receiving preseason recognition is senior Kevin McCullar Jr. who was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for this upcoming season.
McCullar chose to return to KU after testing the NBA waters, and his return was huge for this team’s chances of making a deep postseason run. His experience, his defensive ability, and his ability to score in traffic makes him an invaluable piece to this team.
Last year, McCullar averaged 10.7 points and 7 rebounds per game. Expect those numbers to increase as McCullar takes on more of a leadership role for this team and tries to improve his 2024 NBA Draft stock by season’s end.
These three Big 12 honorees and the rest of the 2023-24 Kansas squad will look to live up to their preseason expectations starting Nov. 6 when they officially open the season at home against North Carolina Central.