clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#KURank Number 11: Hunter Mickelson

New, 4 comments

Mickelson looks to be KU's odd man out in the post. Maybe.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

11. Hunter Mickelson | Junior | 2013-14 #KURank: N/A

11.7%, 13.7%, 15.3%, 13.5%. The first three percentages are that of KU's leading shot blocker each of the last three years (Embiid last year, Withey the previous two). The final number is Hunter Mickelson's shot block percentage in his Freshman season at Arkansas, when he ranked 5th in the nation, and third among Power 5 players behind only Withey and Anthony Davis. So he's pretty damn good.

Unfortunately for him, Mickelson had the misfortune of playing for Mike Anderson, who didn't know how to utilize him properly. Despite his shot blocking prowess, Mickelson played in roughly 16 minutes per game, and his playing time decreased in his Sophomore year. I can only imagine how the growing number of Arkansas fans dissatisfied with Mike Anderson would react to a guy who couldn't play for Anderson contributing for Bill Self and Kansas.

To be fair, Mickelson struggles at a lot of things that aren't blocking shots. His rebounding stats are disappointing for a guy his size, he commits a lot of fouls, and barely draws any.

He's a bit rough as a shooter as well. Although plenty of tweets were sent suggesting that Mickelson was making it rain in practice, he's made just two threes for his career, and last year shot an abysmal 24% on midrange jumpers(fair to point out that he was a respectable 36% as a Freshman, though).

Mickelson shot 60% at the rim as a Freshman and 75% from the rim as a Sophomore, and in Bill Self's offense he could get a lot of looks close to the rim. The big question surrounding Mickelson's playing time will likely be how much Bill Self values rim protection. It's one of the most valuable things you can do defensively, but there's only so much playing time to go around. With Cliff Alexander, Perry Ellis, and Jamari Traylor all in line for playing time, the question seems to be whether Self will favor rim protection (Mickelson) or rebounding (Landen Lucas). While I value rim protection very highly, if Mickelson doesn't offer anything else, it's tough to justify his playing time, barring him looking like Jeff Withey in the early nonconference games.