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College basketball rankings: Kansas feels good after rookie Gradey Dick’s impressive debut


Some of the most acclaimed rookies in college basketball, for various reasons, missed their opening games earlier this week — among them Duke’s Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead, Arkansas’ Nick Smith and UCLA’s Adem Bona. That’s not ideal. But one five-star rookie who debuted as planned is Kansas point guard Gradey Dick — and his season-opening performance was both historic and encouraging for a KU show trying to become the first consecutive national champion in men’s basketball since Billy’s Florida. Donovan. Alligators did this in 2006 and 2007.

Dick took 13 shots in Monday’s 89-64 win over Omaha, hit nine of them and finished with 23 points, two rebounds and two steals. The 6-foot-1 McDonald’s All-American hit four of the six 3-pointers he tried and generally looked great as one of the three new starters. Dick’s 23 points were the most in any KU debut since Xavier Henry scored 27 in 2009. Dick’s nine field goals were the most in any KU debut since Carl Henry made 12 in 1982.

“He’s a fantastic kid – goofy too,” said Kansas acting coach Norm Roberts, who is running the show, as Hall of Fame coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend serve self-imposed four-game suspensions. to start this season. “So he’s a fantastic kid. He doesn’t worry about anything. He just thinks about the next move. And he just got better and better. [in recent months]🇧🇷

Dick will play his second game as Jayhawk on Thursday night as Kansas host North Dakota State inside Allen Fieldhouse. KU remains at No. 8 on CBS Sports’ daily updated college basketball rankings Thursday morning. The Jayhawks’ first real test is expected to come on Tuesday, when Kansas plays Duke in the Champions Classic.

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