The Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball program added another big man. Former Arkansas Razorback 6’10” center Hunter Mickelsonwill transfer to KU for the 2013-2014 season.
Mickelson, who blocked 72 shots as a freshman for Arkansas, scored 5.4 points a game and pulled down 3.5 rebounds. Mickelson will have to sit out next season in compliance to NCAA transfer rules but will still have two seasons of eligibility for Kansas. He blocked 21 shots this past season and he started 20 games for the Razorbacks.
Mickelson didn’t really fit into the style of play favored by Arkansas coach, former Missouri head man Mike Anderson. At Kansas, after a a whole season practicing with the team. Mickelson should be ready to contribute in 2014-2015. He obviously has some skill at blocking shots and Coach Bill Self’s staff has been able to cultivate and improve those skills in their big men over the years. Mickelson will need to be more aggressive offensively for the Jayhawks. He averaged nearly 17 minutes a game this past season but only made to the free throw line 20 times, making 16 (.800).
In an article by Jesse Newell for kusports.com, Bill Self had this to stay about Hunter Mickelson:
“Not really. Not as tall, and he’s more agile than Jeff, and he’s probably more of a perimeter player than Jeff,” Self said. “But from a shot-blocking standpoint, you can say he’s a poor-man’s Jeff. He’s an excellent shot-blocker.”
“He’s thin, but he’s got a good body,” Self said. “I think he needs to spend a lot of time with (strength) coach (Andrea) Hudy in the weight room. I think the biggest thing he’s got to do is get comfortable with our system and really get his confidence back to where it was out of high school, because he was a very, very, very good player out of high school.”
The Jayhawks still have 2 scholarships to give if Coach Self still chooses.