Hunter Dickinson 'perfect' in Kansas debut | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / February 22.
  • Hunter Dickinson ‘perfect’ in Kansas debut

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    by SAM LANCE

    Hunter Dickinson missed only one shot in his Kansas debut — his first — and he grabbed his own rebound and put it back in. After that, the No. 1 player in this past offseason’s transfer portal was simply:

    “Perfect,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said.

    Not only did Dickinson pour in 22 points off nine shots, but he electrified the Kansas crowd early on in the No. Jayhawks 99-56 domination of N.C. Central. The 7-foot-2 center spurted off for seven points in the first two minutes of the game, including his first 3-pointer in Allen Fieldhouse to force NC Central to take a timeout.

    “It was fun,” Dickinson said. “I was telling somebody, I’m used to the opposing fans being this loud and more boos than cheers. So it was really fun to have people on my side for once.”

    Dickinson continued: “The atmosphere was insane. I’ve been hearing about it in my recruiting and when I committed here. And ever since I’ve been here I’ve heard so much about Allen Fieldhouse and the fans and everything. It lived up to it tonight. It was a great experience and a great atmosphere and I think it definitely helped us out there today.”

    Dickinson’s scoring and perfect 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range got the crowd going. But what really stood out about his performance last night was his unselfishness. Dickinson dished out five assists and was a huge part in why Kansas had 21 assists on 22 FG in the first half.

    “Our guys really like each other,” Dickinson said. “Our guys like playing with each other out there. And I think today that was a great explanation for that. It’s just fun when you’re out there sharing the ball because it makes it easier for guys.”

    Nick Timberlake, another Jayhawk newcomer out of the transfer portal, credited Dickinson for why offense was so easy for Kansas. Timberlake scored five of his 13 points off Dickinson assists.

    “He’s getting all the attention, so he just opens up the floor for everyone else,” Timberlake said. “Just get the ball to him down low and he’s going to make a play, either a pass or an easy layup or dunk. It’s amazing seeing him do what he does, and I think he’s living up to the hype this year.”

    Dickinson was listed as a preseason AP All-American, and a near-perfect 22-point, 9-rebound game is a good start for his National Player of the Year candidacy.

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