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Dickinson delivered: KU big man finished among elite company

First-year Jayhawk finished 2023-24 season on elite list of Consensus All-Americans to play for KU coach Bill Self

4 min read
KU big man Hunter Dickinson is shown here during a break in the action at a game against Kansas State in Manhattan. [Chance Parker photo]

When the Kansas men’s basketball program landed former Michigan big man out of the transfer portal about this time a year ago, the pairing seemed like a match made in heaven.

KU instantly became a trendy pick to win it all and it was easy to envision Dickinson putting up massive numbers while playing in the Bill Self system.

The 7-foot-2 center did exactly that, even if shortcomings and injuries elsewhere on the roster made his production more critical than a luxury and ultimately kept Kansas from winning at the level many expected it would.

Kansas, you surely remember, was the preseason No. 1 team in the AP Top 25.

Last October, Christopher Boan, of, put together some data about the preseason No. 1 ranking and how the last nine teams to have it fared at season’s end.

None of them won the title and Kansas kept that streak alive. Five of them reached the Final Four, which KU fell short of. And three of them were bounced in the Round of 32 or earlier, with the Jayhawks becoming the fourth.

The reasons KU’s season ended the way it did have been well documented, but now that fans have been able to move past the ending, it’s time to look back at Dickinson’s season in and of itself and see where the big man with massive expectations stacked up.

In short, he was phenomenal.

He finished with per-game averages of 17.9 points and 10.8 rebounds. The rebounding mark led the Big 12 and was eighth nationally. And his 17 double-doubles in 34 games this season also led the Big 12 and ranked 16th nationally.

Dickinson was the only player in the Big 12 Conference to average a double-double and he also led the Big 12 with 14 games above 20 points.

While those numbers were every bit what KU expected to get from the native of Alexandria, Virginia, there’s more to it than that.

He also earned Consensus Second Team All-America honors, giving Kansas a player on the Consensus All-America teams for the third consecutive season. Ochai Agbaji (2022) and Jalen Wilson (2023) were both First Team Consensus All-Americans before him.

According to the NCAA records book, Dickinson is just the second NCAA Division I player to earn Consensus All-America honors at two different schools, joining Elmer Oliphant, who earned the distinction at Purdue in 1914 and Army in 1915.

In addition to that fun fact, Dickinson joins some pretty notable names in KU lore.

He is the 17th player to earn either first or second team Consensus All-American honors in the 21-year Bill Self era — the most of any school during that time — and joins names like Sherron Collins (2009), Marcus Morris (2011), Ben McLemore (2013), Jeff Withey (2013), Andrew Wiggins (2014), Perry Ellis (2016), Udoka Azubuike (2020) and Devon Dotson (2020) in landing among the 10 best players in the country for a full season on the four major All-American lists.

Dickinson, you surely know, has the option of returning to Kansas for one more season should he elect to take it.

The Jayhawks will lose a lot from this season’s roster and also will have an extra scholarship or two to work with as they dip into the transfer portal to try to build a roster that can once again contend for a Big 12 and national title.

There’ll be plenty of news about that in the days and weeks to come. And we broke down how it might look a little earlier this week.

For now, though, even with the 11 losses and the less-than-stellar Big 12 record and finish to the season, it’s important to recognize that Dickinson did everything people hoped he would, numbers-wise, when he decided to join the Jayhawks.

Now, if he returns, it’ll be interesting to see what that type of production looks like if KU puts a stronger, deeper team around him.

KU center Hunter Dickinson waves to the crowd during his Senior Night speech earlier this month. Dickinson still has 1 year of eligibility left if he elects to use it. [Chance Parker photo]

Per a Kansas Athletics release, here's a look at the entire list of former Jayhawks to earn Consensus All-American honors at KU...

W.O. Hamilton era (1910-19)
1915—Ralph Sproull; 1919—Dutch Lonborg

Phog Allen era (1907-09; 1920-64)
1909—Tommy Johnson; 1922—Paul Endacott; 1923—Charlie T. Black, Paul Endacott; 1924—Arthur Ackerman, Charlie T. Black; 1925—Arthur Ackerman; 1926—Gale Gordon, Albert Petersen; 1938—Fred Pralle; 1941—Howard Engleman; 1943—Charles Black; 1946—Charles Black (second); 1951—Clyde Lovellette; 1952—Clyde Lovellette

Dick Harp era (1957-64)
1957—Wilt Chamberlain; 1958—Wilt Chamberlain

Ted Owens era (1965-83)
1966—Walt Wesley (second); 1969—Jo Jo White (second); 1972—Bud Stallworth (second)

Larry Brown era (1984-88)
1986—Danny Manning (second); 1987—Danny Manning; 1988—Danny Manning

Roy Williams era (1989-2003)
1996—Jacque Vaughn (second); 1997—Raef LaFrentz, Jacque Vaughn (second); 1998—Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce; 2002—Drew Gooden; 2003—Nick Collison

Bill Self era (2004-present)
2005—Wayne Simien; 2009—Sherron Collins (second); 2010—Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich (second); 2011—Marcus Morris (second); 2012—Thomas Robinson; 2013—Ben McLemore (second), Jeff Withey (second); 2014—Andrew Wiggins (second); 2016—Perry Ellis (second); 2017—Frank Mason III; 2018—Devonte Graham; 2020—Udoka Azubuike (second), Devon Dotson (second); 2022—Ochai Agbaji; 2023—Jalen Wilson; 2024—Hunter Dickinson (second)

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