Kansas basketball: Three takeaways from Jayhawks opening night rout of NC Central

North Carolina Central sophomore guard Po'Boigh King (35) controls the ball against Kansas junior forward KJ Adams Jr. (24) during the first half of Monday's game inside Allen Fieldhouse.
North Carolina Central sophomore guard Po'Boigh King (35) controls the ball against Kansas junior forward KJ Adams Jr. (24) during the first half of Monday's game inside Allen Fieldhouse. /
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Kansas senior center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts after sinking a three in the first half of Monday’s game against North Carolina Central inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas senior center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts after sinking a three in the first half of Monday’s game against North Carolina Central inside Allen Fieldhouse. /

Kansas Basketball Takeaway No. 3: Hunter Dickinson Could Be In Store For A NPOY Type Of Season

Hunter Dickinson was a three-time All-Big Ten selection at Michigan and was an All-American in his freshman season. Yet, he may be in line for his best season in 2023. In the same article I mentioned earlier, I talked about how Dickinson’s game, along with KU’s supporting cast and scheme, could be the perfect storm for a dominant season from the big man.

Dajuan Harris’ passing and pick-and-roll mastery will lead to multiple easy baskets for Dickinson. Self’s propensity to feed a posted-up big man will also give him ample opportunities to show off his offensive skill set. Add in a few deep balls and 8-10 rebounds per game, and you’re looking at a potential 20/10 season stat line.

All of that was on full display early in the season opener. In the first half alone, Dickinson went 7-8 from the field and 3-3 from outside, collecting 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the opening 20 minutes. He would only go on to add four points in the second half, but that was in limited playing time.

In just 24 minutes, he finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. If he plays around 34 minutes per game this season, that stat line would have stretched to 30 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Considering the Jayhawks have a chance to win 30 or more games, that should be plenty to make a case for National Player of the Year.

While two of these three things are something we already predicted to be somewhat of a reality coming into the season, it is still worth noting just how dominant the Jayhawks were in every facet of the game. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, looking like a unit that had been together for years. Shots were falling and they were getting virtually whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

The defense may have been even better, suffocating NC Central on nearly every trip down the floor and forcing bad shot after bad shot after bad shot from the Eagles. Yes, it’s one game and yes, it was just NC Central, but this team has the makings of a National Championship contender. They showed every reason why in their season opener.

Next. Five takeaways from Jayhawks win over Fort Hays State. dark