In this week’s edition of Monday Morning Wheaties, we’re back into the flow of things, with a couple of Big 12 Conference basketball games and the restarting of a few other sports.
In addition, we’ll take one final chance to tip our hats to the Jayhawks’ 9-4 football season that wrapped up with a dominant bowl win over UNLV in the desert.
You’ve seen the tomahawks on the back of the Florida State helmets, the buckeye tree leaves on the Ohio State helmets and the paw prints on the back of the Clemson helmets.
Each Monday, we take one last look back at the week that was and hand out different amounts of the iconic breakfast cereal to the Jayhawks’ top performers.
So, be sure to come get your Monday morning Wheaties and feel free to hit up the comments section — subscribers only for now — with any players you feel we might’ve missed.
Picture on the box
• Senior center Hunter Dickinson – The final minute of KU’s Big 12 opener against TCU alone might’ve earned the big man this honor. Dickinson took a shot to the head, got up and drained two free throws to tie it and then hit the game winner in traffic to help the Jayhawks survive a tough battle with TCU, 83-81 at home. While those were the money plays, the rest of Dickinson’s day was just as impressive. He finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds — good for his 9th double-double of the season and the 40th of his college career — and proved to be too much for the Horned Frogs to handle when he got the ball down low. Eight of his 11 rebounds were offensive boards and he now has six consecutive games of 10 or more rebounds, which is the longest such streak of his career.
A full bowl
• Junior forward KJ Adams – While his teammate was busy picking up his 40th career double-double, Adams reeled in his first in KU's home win over TCU last Saturday. The junior forward finished with 18 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) and 10 rebounds, giving him back-to-back games with double-digit rebounds. That’s no small feat, given that Adams had not recorded 10 or more rebounds one time in his first 95 games as a Jayhawk. He and the coaches have put extra emphasis on him helping on the glass during winter break and their attention to that detail is clearly paying off.
• Senior guard Holly Kersgieter – It was a good week for the KU women’s basketball star, even if it wasn’t a great week for her team. Not only did Kersgieter sit among her team’s leading scorers, including a 21-point outing in last Saturday’s loss at Texas Tech, but she also made 6 of 11 from 3-point range and became KU’s all-time leader in 3-point makes for a career. We’ll have much more on that milestone later in the week, but there’s no doubt that Kersgieter has found her offense again. Now, the Jayhawks, who sit at 7-7 overall and 0-3 in Big 12 play, need to find their game as a team. KU will play host to Baylor on Wednesday night and Oklahoma State this weekend.
• Wide receivers Lawrence Arnold & Luke Grimm – You probably remember what these two did in KU’s bowl game, scoring three touchdowns apiece and combining for 292 yards through the air on 10 total catches in the 49-36 KU victory. What you might not know is that those performances earned both KU receivers a spot on the Associated Press’ All-Bowl Team for 2023. And here’s the good news: Both players have said they’ll be back for the 2024 season, which likely will be one of the most highly anticipated seasons in Kansas football history.
• Team Impact athlete JP Bemberger – You might’ve heard about Bemberger at some point during the past couple of years. Thanks to the folks at Team Impact and the Kansas men’s basketball program, Bemberger, whose given name is Jonathan Phog Bemberger, has been an honorary member of the Kansas Jayhawks since 2020. Diagnosed a few years ago with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a type of pediatric cancer, Bemberger has been able to travel with the Jayhawks, attend practices and games, conduct an official visit and draw inspiration from the KU players and coaches while also providing them with some himself. He was in town on Saturday for the Jayhawks’ win over TCU and he received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was introduced during a timeout as the toughest kid in the building.
Drink the milk
• Senior guard Nick Timberlake – He has struggled with his outside shot all season, but he hit a big one in the Jayhawks’ two-point win over TCU and the hope within the locker room is that maybe THAT’S the shot that will get him going. People thought his solid game against Yale was the catalyst to better days but none of the shots he hit in that one were as big as this most recent one in the big picture. So, we’ll see if that gets him going.
— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit kutickets.com