Skip to content

Monday Morning Wheaties

5 min read

The Jayhawks are red hot on the diamond, with the baseball team coming off of a four-game sweep in their first action at home and the softball team riding a 9-game winning streak.

The KU women’s basketball team remained on a roll, as well.

All of that, and more, will be celebrated in this week’s Monday Morning Wheaties.

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.

KU senior Holly Kersgieter closed out her Allen Fieldhouse career in memorable fashion with a monster showing in KU's win over 20th-ranked Oklahoma. [Chance Parker photo]

Picture on the box

• Senior guard Holly Kersgieter – It would’ve been the perfect storybook ending if the Jayhawks didn’t plan on having several games to play still. In her final home game as a Jayhawk, KU guard Holly Kersgieter threatened to take down her career high of 29 points and finished the day with 26. It was without question her best game of the season, and Kersgieter showed her entire game in this one, hitting from the outside, getting to the rim, getting to the free throw line and playing a little D, too. All of that, along with the work put in by her teammates, led to the Jayhawks knocking off No. 20 Oklahoma in a win that likely clinched KU’s berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks will open Big 12 tournament play Friday at 5:30 p.m. against BYU in Kansas City. Starting there, it’ll be win or go home until the Jayhawks learn their NCAA Tournament fate on March 17 and then it’ll be do-or-die all over again.

A full bowl

• Freshman guard S’Mya Nichols – The freshman has been sensational all season, and she appears to be hitting another gear here late. After a monster game in a huge home win over 10th-ranked Kansas State, Nichols dropped a career-high 29 points in the win over the Sooners on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. Like she was in that K-State game, Nichols was terrific in the rematch with OU, and the Sooners struggled to keep her contained. She got to the free throw line repeatedly and was the catalyst that made everything go for the Jayhawks. Nichols has been KU’s most consistent player all season, and you can tell that she’s ready to turn things up another notch now that the postseason has arrived.

KU freshman S'Mya Nichols continued her strong season this week. [Chance Parker photo]

• Freshman diver Shiyun Lai – Freshman diver Shiyun Lai earned first-place honors in the 3-meter dive as the Kansas swimming and diving team placed seventh in the 2024 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships with 647.50 points over the weekend in West Virginia. Lai recorded 406.20 of those 647.5 team points to become just the third diver and seventh Jayhawk to win an individual championship at the conference championship. Lai’s total of 406.25 is the second-most points tallied in the 3-meter dive in school history, just behind Vicky Xu’s 420.60 during the 2018-19 season. Lai was named the Big 12 Women’s Newcomer Diver of the Meet, becoming just the fourth Jayhawk in program history to win a “Big 12 of the Meet” award.

• Baseball pitching staff – The Kansas baseball team opened play at Hoglund Ballpark with a four-game sweep of Texas Southern over the weekend. The Jayhawks got all kinds of big performances all over the field, but few were as impressive as the work of Dan Fitzgerald’s pitching staff. The starters were great in three of the four games, with Patrick Steitz improving to 2-1 after throwing 5 innings of 2-hit ball in the finale. Domi-nic Voegele earned his first career win with a 5.2-inning, 1-hit, 7-strikeout outing and Reese Dutton moved to 2-1 after toss-ing 7 innings of 3-hit ball. He also struck out seven. Gavin Brasosky picked up the other win in relief after throwing four scoreless innings in the second game of Saturday’s double-header.

Reese Dutton fires a pitch to the plate during KU's home opener. [Chance Parker photo]

Nighttime snack

• Senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. – The Jayhawks lost their latest road game at Baylor, but the silver lining there was the return of Kevin McCullar. Not only was he back in uniform, but he played 32 minutes and scored 20 points. It wasn’t the most efficient game, but he competed and it was good for this team to see him back on the floor. They need him for the stretch run and he appears to be OK — physically and mentally — to give it a go.

• Softball pitcher Katie Brooks – The junior moved to 6-0 on the season with another strong start in one of KU’s wins over Belmont over the weekend. She finished KU’s 5-4 win over Belmont with four strikeouts and just two walks in six innings of work. That performance followed up senior starter Kasey Hamilton’s third win of the season, in which she tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and walking one while striking out five in the 1-0 win. The Jayhawks are now 12-5-1 and riding a 9-game winning streak. They’ll open their home season Tuesday with a single game against Creighton at Arrocha Ballpark before heading back out on the road to open Big 12 play at UCF.

• KU swimmer Lezli Sisung – Sisung claimed a sixth-place fin-ish in the 100-yard backstroke as Kansas wrapped up the 2024 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Morgan-town, W.V. Sisung was the lone Jayhawk to qualify for a championship event — everyone else other than Lai competed in consolation finals — notching that sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.98.

Lenny Ashby waits for a pitch during the Jayhawks' home opener. [Chance Parker photo]

Drink the milk

• Senior outfielder Lenny Ashby – The transfer from New Mex-ico had a monster weekend for the Jayhawks in their sweep of Texas Southern. He finished Sunday’s win 3-for-3 with a dou-ble, home run, four RBIs, two runs and a walk. The Aruba na-tive has hit safely in 10 of 11 games this season and has mul-tiple hits in four of his last five contests. He has drawn a walk in five straight games, as well.

— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit