Every week we take a look back at the performances by KU athletes that were above and beyond.
From football to volleyball, cross-country, and all across the athletic department, we'll break down the best of the best in the world of Kansas athletics.
Performance #1: London Davis
Background: Junior opposite hitter London Davis in a two-match Sunflower Showdown against the Kansas State Wildcats
What happened: No. 14 Kansas volleyball hosted the Kansas State Wildcats to begin a two-match Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Nov. 3 and 4. The Jayhawks came out victorious in a five-set thriller on Friday, taking down the Wildcats in a 3-2 win, while sweeping K-State on Saturday in three sets.
Junior opposite hitter London Davis proved instrumental in the Jayhawks’ five-set win as she carried the offense all night long. Davis put up a career performance that she’ll never forget as the Jayhawks took down their in-state rival.
Davis racked up 28 kills in just 45 attempts with only three attack errors in the game, ending with a .556 hitting percentage. Kansas as a team tallied just 59 kills in the match as Davis accounted for 47.5% of the team’s kills.
Not only did she prove lethal at the net, but Davis also added five block assists, tied for second-most in the match. Davis accounted for 30.5 points of the Jayhawks’ 80 points scored, leading to KU’s 17th win of the season.
Davis showed up in Kansas’ second match of the weekend: a rematch with the Wildcats in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. She ended the match with nine kills on a .231 hitting percentage, adding two block assists in a 3-0 sweep.
Why it’s so great: The two wins over the Wildcats push Kansas to an 18-4 record with just six matches remaining in the regular season. The Jayhawks also move to 12-1 at home this season, with a 4-3 record on the road.
Davis has been a key piece to this nationally-ranked KU team as she’s currently third on the team in kills. In 79 sets played, Davis has racked up 222 kills on the year after adding 37 kills over the weekend, averaging 2.81 kills each set. With a .309 hitting percentage on the season, Davis is also third on the team in that stat.
London Davis and the No. 14 Kansas Jayhawks travel to take on the Iowa State Cyclones this weekend in Ames, Iowa, looking to improve their record to 20-4 overall and 11-3 in Big 12 play.
Performance #2: Mello Dotson & the KU football defense
Background: Junior cornerback Mello Dotson against Iowa State in a 28-21 victory
What happened: Kansas football faced the Iowa State Cyclones in a road battle in Ames, Iowa, where the Jayhawks came in as a 3-point underdog. Iowa State started with the opening possession of the game and the KU defense responded by forcing a quick three-and-out that saw just nine yards from the Cyclones.
Kansas started the game off with a nine-play, 86-yard touchdown drive on its opening offensive possession, ending in a six-yard dash from junior running back Devin Neal to stake the Jayhawks to a 7-0 early lead. After two more Iowa State drives ended in punts, the score remained 7-0 as junior cornerback Mello Dotson and the KU defense headed onto the field for their fourth-straight defensive stand.
It wasn’t long before Dotson made his impact on the game.
On a 2nd and 9 play, Iowa State’s Rocco Becht threw a pass that was intercepted by Dotson and returned all the way to the end zone for a 50-yard defensive score. Quickly, Kansas jumped out to a 14-point lead with 10:21 remaining in the second quarter, giving the Jayhawks a comfortable lead.
Why it’s so great: Dotson returned his interception for his second-straight game with a pick-six. Dotson returned a 37-yard pick-six against No. 6 Oklahoma the week prior to give Kansas a 7-0 advantage, leading to an upset win over the Sooners.
Dotson’s interception helped propel Kansas to a 28-21 win over the Cyclones, giving the Jayhawks their second road victory of the season. KU now sits at 7-2 on the season, its first seven-win season since 2008.
The win also marked Kansas’ first road win over ISU since 2008, a season where the Jayhawks made a bowl appearance in the postseason. The Jayhawks had lost seven straight games inside Jack Trice Stadium, and Dotson’s defensive touchdown aided KU in ending that streak.
The No. 19 Kansas Jayhawks return home to host the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m.
Performance #3: Kansas basketball's Hunter Dickinson
Background: Recent Michigan transfer, senior center Hunter Dickinson in his first regular season game with the Jayhawks on Nov. 6
What happened: No. 1 Kansas men’s basketball hosted the North Carolina Central Eagles for their first regular season game of the season. Senior center Hunter Dickinson led the charge for the Jayhawks, getting out to a hot start in KU’s 99-56 route of the Eagles.
Dickinson wasted no time showing Kansas fans why he was named the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year. On Kansas’ first possession of the game, Dickinson grabbed an offensive rebound off of graduate-senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr.’s missed three-point attempt. After a missed putback, he grabbed one more offensive board before putting in the score for the Jayhawks.
Junior forward KJ Adams Jr. stole the ball on the next possession, leading to a Dickinson two-point jumper, giving Kansas a quick 4-0 lead to begin the game. Dickinson showed off his range on the next possession, draining his first three-point attempt of the season as he racked up all seven of KU’s points to start, just 1:18 minutes into the game.
Dickinson ended the game with a complete stat sheet, scoring 21 points on 8-9 shooting and 3-3 from behind the arc, pulling down eight rebounds and five assists with a steal and two blocked shots on the night.
Why it’s so great: Despite the 43-point win on Monday to begin the regular season, Dickinson left his mark on the game. In just 22:49 minutes of game time, Dickinson finished second on the team in points, only behind McCullar’s 22, and finished first on the team in rebounds with eight.
He also had one of KU’s four steals in the game, as well as two of Kansas’ three blocks against the Eagles. Dickinson scored more than 21 points just twice in his five preseason exhibitions with the Jayhawks, most recently on the road against the Illinois Fighting Illini, where he scored 22 points on 9-20 shooting.
Dickinson transferred from the University of Michigan, where he averaged 18.5 points per game and nine rebounds per game with the Wolverines last season. After the game, he said that the difference between Allen Fieldhouse and the Crisler Center where he played last season was very different.
“It was fun,” Dickinson said. “I was telling somebody that I’m used to opposing fans being this loud. More boos than cheers so it was really fun to have people on my side for once. The atmosphere was insane. I heard about it in my recruiting and then I committed here, and ever since I’ve been here I’ve heard a whole bunch about Allen Fieldhouse and the fans and everything and they lived up to it tonight and it was just a great experience and great atmosphere. It definitely helped us out there today.”
Dickinson and the Jayhawks open the season 1-0 with their next battle slated for Friday against Manhattan in Allen Fieldhouse.
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