Kevin McCullar’s defensive presence is crucial to KU

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 1:13 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, IA. (WIBW) - If you haven’t already known, in the Bill Self era, it’s all about defense.

As they say, defense wins championships. Self and Norm Roberts have said that McCullar is a winning player.

When McCullar hit the transfer portal from Texas Tech, he said during his senior night speech, he was shocked that Self reached out.

He’s been a semifinalist the last two seasons for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and he was named to the All Big 12 Third Team and All Big 12 Defensive team this season.

McCullar dealt with an injury during the Big 12 Tournament that sidelined him for and could tell the difference in the defensive identity for Kansas.

“Oh he’s been amazing all year, there are no surprises there,” Kansas Forward Gradey Dick said.” His basketball mind is one of the smartest in the country and to have that in my corner and as a team is huge for us.”

“He’s a guy that does everything for us,” Kansas Forward Jalen Wilson said. “Whether it’s offense or defense, he’s prepared to do it all and that’s just kind of the special player he is and what he brings to our team is unmatched. You can see the difference between when he plays and doesn’t play for us and now that he’s here, it’s good that we’re able to click.”

“He’s elite, he does all the little things for us and it showed how important he was and it’s just great having him back,” Kansas Guard Dajuan Harris Jr. said.

After the regular season, McCullar finished fourth in the Big 12 in rebounds and steals. Not to mention, he eclipsed the 1,000 point club on senior day against he former team.