June 23, 2024

Hunter Dickinson and top-ranked Kansas beat Chaminade 83-56 at Maui Invitational

Kansas center Hunter Dickinson (1) goes for the net over Chaminade forward Wyatt Lowell (25) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

By KALANI TAKASE Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — Hunter Dickinson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and No. 1 Kansas beat Chaminade 83-56 in a first-round game of the Maui Invitational on Monday.
The Jayhawks (4-0) led throughout and shot a blistering 60% from the field. They held the Silverswords (1-3) to 33.9% shooting.
Chaminade, a Division II school in Honolulu with an enrollment of 2,342 students, was unable to muster an upset against the nation’s top-ranked team, as it did nearly 41 years ago against Ralph Sampson-led Virginia.
Dickinson, a 7-foot-2 Michigan transfer and AP Preseason All-American, made 15 of his 18 shots from the field. Kevin McCullar Jr. had 22 points and 11 rebounds with 10 assists, three steals and two blocks. Dajuan Harris Jr. added seven points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Dickinson, the preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, was coming off of a 27-point, 21-rebound game in a 89-84 win over No. 17 Kentucky a week ago.
It was McCullar’s second triple-double in as many games. The graduate senior guard had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the Wildcats.
“It’s a blessing. Super fun out there today. Credit to my teammates for helping me out and getting assists and boxing out and things like that, so it’s a collective unit effort,” McCullar said.
Jamir Thomas, Ross Reeves and Wyatt Lowell scored 12 points apiece for Chaminade.
Kansas scored 58 points in the paint compared to 22 for Chaminade, and also had the edge in fast-break points, 27-6.
Kansas led at the half, 39-27.
The Jayhawks are 5-0 against the Silverswords all-time.
BIG PICTURE
As expected, Kansas showcased its talent-rich roster against an overmatched Chaminade team, but it did not come without some adversity. It held a 21-9 lead about midway through the first half, but saw the Silverswords go on a 9-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to cut it to 25-20 at the 6:22 mark. That led Kansas coach Bill Self to call a timeout. His team responded with a 14-5 run.
Chaminade has won eight games all-time in the Maui Invitational, with its last win coming against Cal, 96-72, in 2017.
FOR MAUI
Kansas players donned blue ‘Maui Strong” T-shirts during their pregame warm-ups. The Maui Invitational, now in its 40th year, was relocated from the cozy confines of the Lahaina Civic Center to the 10,300-seat Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu due to the wildfires that ravaged the west Maui town in early August.
HEAVY HEART
Kansas freshman forward KJ Adams Jr. joined the team in Honolulu this morning, just three days after the death of his mother. Adams played 20 minutes off the bench and scored eight points with four assists.
“It meant a lot. For him to fly out this morning, fly 11 hours out here, hop on a plane and play in a college basketball game and to play the way that he did is amazing,” McCullar said.
HIGHLIGHT REEL
Kansas took a 60-40 lead at the 13:09 mark of the second half on a KJ Adams Jr. fastbreak dunk off an alley-oop from McCullar. McCullar threw the pass off the backboard with his right hand to Adams, who finished the play with a thunderous two-handed dunk.
UP NEXT
Kansas: Advances to the tournament semifinals Tuesday to face No. 4 Marquette.
Chaminade: Will play UCLA in a consolation game Tuesday.