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Monday Morning Wheaties

5 min read

It was big win after big win after big win at Allen Fieldhouse last week, as the Kansas men’s and women’s basketball teams combined for three key victories in their home arena.

While quality team basketball led directly to all three wins, there were more than a few individual efforts that stood out, as well. Several of them made this week’s Monday Morning Wheaties.

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.

KU center Taiyanna Jackson laughs with her teammates during the Jayhawks' 70-64 home win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. [Chance Parker photo]

Picture on the box

• Senior center Taiyanna Jackson – They don’t make games much bigger than 27 points, 19 rebounds and a handful of blocks against the No. 4 team in the country, and that’s exactly what KU’s Taiyanna Jackson delivered last week against Baylor. Her size, length and tenacity inside was too much for the Bears to handle. And, although her numbers weren’t as big in the win that followed a few days later against Oklahoma State, she played an important role in the Jayhawks’ dominant fourth quarter that sealed the victory. By her own very high standards, Jackson’s had a good-but-not-great season so far. It’ll be interesting to see if this solid week — both individually and with a pair of team wins — goes down as the week that got her going.

A full bowl

• Junior forward KJ Adams – Adams earned his Wheaties for a monster first half during the KU men's team's 78-66 win over Oklahoma. So much energy, so much passion and such a ridiculously good stat line — 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with 8 rebounds (3 offensive) in all 20 minutes of action. Ad-ams’ final number weren’t much higher than those, but his ability to carry the team on his back for stretches of the first half was a huge factor in Kansas winning the game.

KU guard Kevin McCullar Jr. looks to make a play in transition. [Chance Parker photo]

• Senior center Hunter Dickinson – Responded to his worst game as a Jayhawk with another monster double and one of his best defensive outings. Dickinson’s 24 points and 14 rebounds came on 11-of-19 shooting and he also added a career-high-tying 5 blocks in the game. The 24 points featured just two trips to the free throw line and an 0-for-3 clip from 3-point range, illustrating that Dickinson did his best work close to the basket and in the paint. Dickinson’s been a gamer all season and it was good to see him erase the blip that was the UCF game with a big game in a win over OU. The fact that it came amid talk of knee soreness was merely icing on the cake.

• Senior guard Holly Kersgieter – KU’s all-time leading 3-point shooter kept it going in a big way this week in wins over No. 4 Baylor and Oklahoma State at home. After setting KU’s women’s record for most 3-point makes in a career in a road loss at Texas Tech, Kersgieter hit 3 of 6 in the win over Baylor and 3 of 5 in the win over OSU to move her total to 245 and count-ing. Kersgieter has now hit 3 or more 3-pointers in five con-secutive games and she is shooting 54.5% from downtown in the month of January.

Nighttime snack

• Doubles partners Jocelyn Massey and Kuyoka Kubo – Com-peting in the Jayhawks’ first meet of 2024, the doubles duo went unbeaten in Arizona last week, with wins over Clemson (7-5), Iowa State (6-4) and Arkansas (6-0). The strong show-ing was the continuation of the doubles team’s win at the Big 12 Fall Invite in mid-November, which also featured Massey winning a pair of singles matches. Next up, KU will compete at the ITA Kickoff Tournament, Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio.

• Senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. – Yeah, he had 21 points in the Jayhawks' home win over Oklahoma, but it was the way he got him that earned him a spot this week. McCullar made 11 trips to the free throw line and hit 10 charity shots after forcing the action over and over and over in the second half of the win. OU provided little resistance against McCullar’s attacks on the rim and could do nothing but foul him. Those 10 points at the free throw line proved to be huge in both the outcome and in KU keeping control throughout the second half of a game that was just a 1-point Kansas lead at the break.

The KU women, including Danai Papadopoulou (center) huddle up at the free throw line against Oklahoma State. [Chance Parker photo]

Drink the milk

• KU center Danai Papadopoulou – She never puts up big numbers and doesn’t even really play big minutes, but she came through in the first half of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State with 4 crucial rebounds, three of which came on the of-fensive glass. None of the three led to second-chance points for the Jayhawks, but they helped set a tone that KU was there to battle.

• Freshman guard Johnny Furphy – We won't make a mountain out of a molehill here, but it's worth noting that Furphy's contributions after sliding into the starting rotation in place of Elmarko Jackson were pretty massive. He brought a ton of energy, some big moments, outstanding effort and great athleticism to the floor. Our Matt Tait chronicled nearly every move Furphy made in the win over Oklahoma and documented it in the latest edition of "What was it, how did it happen, what does it mean?"

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