🏀 Three Jayhawks on Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball senior Hunter Dickinson, redshirt-senior Dajuan Harris Jr. and graduate Kevin McCullar Jr. have been named to the 2023-24 Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday. Kansas is one of three schools with three players on the list, along with Duke and Creighton.
Kansas has had two previous winners of the John R. Wooden Award with Danny Manning in 1988 and Frank Mason III in 2017.
On most every preseason national player of the year 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, through two games the Alexandria, Virginia center leads Kansas in scoring at 19.5 points per game and rebounding at 8.0 rebounds per contest. Named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 13, Dickinson has compiled career statistics of 1,656 points, 803 rebounds and 152 blocked shots.
McCullar Jr. is averaging 18.5 points per contest, including a team-high 22 points in the win versus North Carolina Central (11/6). McCullar is tied for the team lead with five three pointers made, has nine assists and averages 6.5 rebounds per game. 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. A 2023 KU graduate, McCullar has compiled 1,077 points, 602 rebounds, 240 assists and 180 steals for his career.
Harris Jr. leads Kansas with 17 assists through two games, including 10 in the season opener against North Carolina Central (11/6). 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, is a three-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 108 games with 79 starts and ranks 14th on the KU career assists list with 472 and is 15th on the career steals list with 167. A 2023 KU graduate, Harris is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 is comprised of student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the one of the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award.
Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot, which consists of 15 student-athletes. Last year, KU’s Jalen Wilson was on the Wooden National Ballot and Jayhawk Ochai Agbaji was on the ballot the previous season in 2022.
No. 1 Kansas (2-0) plays No. 17 Kentucky (2-0) in the State Farms Champion Classic, tonight, Nov. 14, at 8:30 p.m. Central. The game from the United Center in Chicago will be televised on ESPN.