🏀 Kansas Trio on Naismith Trophy Men’s Preseason Watch List
ATLANTA – The Kansas men’s basketball trio of Hunter Dickinson, Dajuan Harris Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr. have been named to the 2023-24 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s preseason 50 watch list the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday, the opening day of the season. Kansas is the only team with three players on the list and one of eight schools with multiple players.
Kansas has had two previous winners of the Naismith Trophy with Danny Manning in 1988 and Frank Mason III in 2017.
On most every preseason national player of the year watch list, and recently named to the 2024 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list, Dickinson is the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to earn both honors in the same season. A fourth-year transfer from Michigan, Dickinson earned many national and conference honors with the Wolverines, including Consensus All-America Second Team in 2021. The 7-foot-2 Alexandria, Virginia, center was a three-time All-Big Ten selection with first team honors in 2022 and 2023. Dickinson averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds for his career and led Michigan in points and rebounds each of the last three seasons. Dickinson has compiled career statistics of 1,617 points, 787 rebounds and 149 blocked shots entering 2023-24. A general studies major, Dickinson was named to the All-Big Ten Academic Team in 2022 and 2023.
On the Jerry West Award preseason watch list and a Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, McCullar is a three-time All-Big 12 selection, with two coming while at Texas Tech and an all-conference third-team honoree while at Kansas last season. The San Antonio guard was a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist in 2021-22 and 2022-23 and was on the Big 12 All-Defensive team last season. In 2022-23, McCullar averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and was third in the Big 12 with seven double-doubles. A 2023 KU graduate, McCullar enters 2023-24 with 1,040 points, 589 rebounds, 231 assists and 178 steals for his career.
Named Preseason All-Big 12 First Team by the league coaches and on the Bob Cousy Award preseason watch list, Harris was the 2023 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. The guard from Columbia, Missouri, averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season. A two-year starter, including on the 2022 NCAA Championship team, Harris has led the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio each of the last two seasons. In 2022 and 2023, Harris was named All-Big Honorable Mention and to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. For his career, Harris has played in 106 games with 77 starts at KU and ranks 14th on the KU career assists list with 455 and is tied for 15th on the career steals list with 165. Additionally, Harris is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.
In late January the Naismith Trophy will name a top 15 midseason team. In early March 2024 the award will announce 10 national semifinalists and later that month name four finalists. The Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year will be awarded April 7, the Sunday prior to the NCAA title game.
A complete list of the Naismith Trophy Men’s preseason 50 watch list can be found here.
No. 1 Kansas plays host to North Carolina Central, tonight, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. Central. The game will be televised on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.