The biggest signing in the history of the transfer portal (for now) requires a quick, emergency Jayhawk Talk.
Thursday former Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson announced he will transfer to KU. That news immediately vaulted KU from a top 15-ish squad to a legit national title contender next season.
I’ll get into the weeds on this later – there is expected to be more roster news soon – so for now I’ll focus on the three transfer players we know will be joining the Jayhawks next year.
Dickinson gives Bill Self the most complete big man he’s ever had. One who has a devastating low post game to either shoulder, who can be deadly in screen-and-roll/screen-and-pop sets, and who can step out and hit 3’s. He’s not a great defender but he isn’t a pushover on that end of the court.
He won’t be as physically dominant as Udoka Azubuike, have as much potential as NBA MVP Joel Embiid, be a defensive stopper like Landon Lucas or Jeff Withey, or play as athletically at Thomas Robinson.
Put his whole game together with the players that should be around him, and there is a great chance he will end up as productive and impactful as any of those past Jayhawks.
Adding Nicolas Timberlake as a poor (and shorter) man’s Gradey Dick and Arterio Morris as a freakish athlete who can also shoot it to two returning players who are lock-down defenders and great passers in DaJuan Harris and KJ Adams, and KU’s top five look super strong. Throw in a McDonald’s All American in Elmarko Jackson, another high school stud in Marcus Adams, and perhaps one more new body and Self has a fantastic top eight.
And that’s without factoring in either Ernest Udeh or Zuby Ejiofor, one of which should probably be back to provide inside depth.
Dickinson is the crown jewel, though. It felt a little icky watching the process, as no one hid the fact he was not just looking for the best basketball fit but also the best financial fit. I like my team being good, and they are in a position to have a ton of success in this new system, so I’m not going to knock it too much. I will fully accept and understand the viewpoint that it sucks, though.
Funny how every spring when KU fans are moaning about next year’s team, Self almost always finds a way to make his teams better. I’ll get into that a little more in next week’s post, too.
For now, though: Rock Chalk, bitches.