Creighton references Hunter Dickinson & KU basketball to announce key player’s return

Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott borrowed from Kansas’ Bill Self on Wednesday in helping one of the Bluejays players announce his return to college basketball for another season.

“Hey @RyanKalkbrenner, it sounds like @CoachBillSelf and @H_Dickinson24 are coming to Omaha on December 4th. I could use your help that night…..what do you think?” McDermott wrote on social media site X at 3:50 p.m. Wednesday.

McDermott through the Internet was addressing 7-foot-1, 270-pound senior center Ryan Kalkbrenner, a three-time Big East Conference defensive player of the year who had entered his name in the 2024 NBA Draft with the option of returning to Creighton for a fifth season, a super-senior season.

Shortly after McDermott’s post, Kalkbrenner wrote on X: “@RachSaunders_11 cancel the honeymoon.”

Kalkbrenner was informing his fiancee, Rachael Saunders, that he’d decided to play another year at Creighton and indeed compete in a marquee matchup against Kansas on Dec. 4 at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The wedding in August could go on as as scheduled. The honeymoon, however, may have to wait.

Next, Kalkbrenner wrote on X: “Not Done Yet. Excited to Build,” with the Creighton men’s basketball account proclaiming on Twitter: “He’s Back!!!”

All’s well that ends well … fiancee Saunders wrote her approval with an X post saying, “I’m sure we can make this work.”

KU coach Self had a similar exchange with one of his own players on social media site X on Friday in helping 7-foot-2 KU big man Hunter Dickinson announce his return to the Jayhawks for a final season.

Self posted at 1 p.m., Friday: “Hey @H_Dickinson24, have you made a decision yet? Everybody wants to know what you’re thinking?”

Dickinson, who had been pondering entering the 2024 NBA Draft, answered his coach’s post 30 minutes later, saying: “Yeah you’re right coach. I guess it’s time to tell everyone I’m coming back! Rock Chalk!”

It’s a logical assumption McDermott viewed that Self-Dickinson exchange on X before Wednesday’s back and forth with CU center Kalkbrenner.

So it’ll be a big-time matchup of big men in December in the Big East/Big 12 Battle contest between KU and CU in Omaha.

Dickinson, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, averaged 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game last season for the Jayhawks (23-11). Dickinson hit 54.8% of his shots. He was 23-of-65 from 3 for 35.4%. He had 76 assists to 58 turnovers with 47 blocked shots.

Kalkbrenner, a native of Florissant, Missouri, averaged a career-high 17.3 points and 3.1 blocks in 2023-24, adding 7.6 rebounds per. contest for CU (25-10). He ranked sixth nationally in field-goal percentage, shooting 64.6%. His 107 blocked shots ranked second in the country.

Kalkbrenner scored 28 points with nine rebounds and seven blocks in a win over Seton Hall in January and had 28 points in a February victory against Xavier. Kalkbrenner averaged 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in three NCAA Tournament games.