College Basketball
Hunter Dickinson is returning to Kansas, and the Jayhawks are loaded
College Basketball

Hunter Dickinson is returning to Kansas, and the Jayhawks are loaded

Updated Apr. 26, 2024 3:43 p.m. ET

A year ago, he was the hottest name in the transfer portal, holding a sweepstakes that produced major buzz in the sport and ended with him going to Kansas.

On Friday afternoon, Hunter Dickinson announced that he is staying in college basketball and coming back to the Jayhawks for the unfinished business that was the main reason why he went to Allen Fieldhouse in the first place. 

After Bill Self posted to X asking Dickinson, who is part of the last class with the extra COVID year of eligibility at his disposal, the 7-foot-2 former All-American at Michigan replied a half hour later to put the rumors to rest:


An All-Big 12 First Team selection this past season, Dickinson has averaged at least 17.9 points per game in his last three seasons. At Big 12 Media Day last October, Self called the big man from DeMatha Catholic High School the "best offensive big man I've ever had."

With his 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, along with 55% shooting from the floor and 35% from 3-point range, Dickinson's productivity speaks for itself. So, why come back for 2024-25? On the court, he was a freshman on an Elite Eight team in 2021, but he has not reached the second weekend of the Big Dance in the last two years.

He came to Kansas to win a national championship. But the No. 1-ranked team in the nation entering last season failed to make it out of the second weekend due to injury troubles.

Dickinson can also capitalize on his name, image and likeness in college, where his face and brand are 10 times more valuable right now (if not more) than they would be if he tried to take the pro approach and spend nights in the NBA G League. Dickinson has several endorsement deals and will only line up more, taking the torch as the sport's biggest face with Zach Edey having moved on.

With Dickinson returning to a Kansas team that has been one of the biggest winners in the transfer portal, the Jayhawks are fully loaded. Before we even knew if Dickinson was coming back officially, I had Kansas as my No. 1 team in the FOX Sports way too early Top 25 2.0 earlier this week.

With Alabama transfer Rylan Griffen and Wisconsin transfer AJ Storr — the Badgers' leading scorer and one of the best bucket-getters in the Big Ten this past year — headlining the four-man portal haul for Self, along with point guard Dajuan Harris Jr., KJ Adams and Johnny Furphy returning, the Jayhawks have the answers to every question entering 2024-25. 

In a world where many teams are still filling out their rosters and there's some uncertainty, Kansas has the best of both worlds with great returning players and a strong incoming class of transfers, not to mention 5-star incoming freshman big man Flory Bidunga. 

Never bet against Self, and Dickinson's return cements that Allen Fieldhouse is the home of the team in the best position entering next season in college basketball. 

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]


Get more from College Basketball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more