Each week, we bring you the most memorable, and inspirational quotes from athletes, coaches, and sports personalities who are making waves for KU.
Junior wide receiver Lawrence Arnold
Nov. 4, 2023, after defeating Iowa State
“Ninety percent of us came here for a change. Now that the program is on its way to turning around, it means a lot. It kind of hit different for us that have been through those storms and bad days. Hearing everybody say, ‘You guys are just a basketball school,”, but now that we’re turning the program around, it gives us a lot of spirit and the community.”
Context: After taking down the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowaa on Nov. 4, No. 19 Kansas football secured its first road win over the Cyclones since 2008. The Jayhawks had lost seven-straight road games against Iowa State until their win on Saturday, also giving Kansas its first winning season since 2008.
When junior wide receiver Lawrence Arnold joined the KU football program back in the 2020-2021 season, the program went to a 0-9 with a 30.22-point average margin of defeat in each game. The next season for Arnold and the Jayhawks weren’tasn’t much better, finishing with a 2-10 record with wins against South Dakota in their first game of the season, along with a massive upset victory on the road against the Texas Longhorns.
Head coach Lance Leipold’s first season with the program ended with a 2-10 losing record, but KU football has seen a massive turnaround since that season. The very next season, Leipold led the Jayhawks to a 6-7 record, with their final loss coming against the Arkansas Razorbacks in a 55-53, triple overtime defeat in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Now, the Jayhawks clinched their first winning season since 2008 and are No. 19 in the country in the AP Top-25 Poll, a massive turnaround from Arnold’s first season with KU. The Jayhawks will play in a bowl game once again this year, passing the six-win mark with three more games left on their schedule.
And with the College Football format expanding to 12 teams next year, Kansas now has legitimate playoff hopes for next year and years to come.
Senior center Hunter Dickinson
Nov. 6, 2023 after KU’s regular season opener
"I think a lot of people might have overreacted with the first few games."
Context: After five preseason exhibitions in the books for Kansas men’s basketball, KU fans were quick to react to back-to-back losses to the Bahamian National Team and the Illinois Fighting Illini. Senior center Hunter Dickinson made sure to quickly reassure the Kansas faithful that the team would get back on track in a hurry.
The Jayhawks put on a show in their first regular season contest against the North Carolina Central Eagles in a 99-56 win, where Dickinson proved to be the primary focus after the game. Dickinson put up 21 points on an efficient 8-9 shooting, nailing all three of his three-point attempts.
Dickinson racked up seven points in less than two minutes of playing time, scoring all of Kansas’ first seven points to begin the game. Not only did Dickinson end the game with just one miss from the field, but he added a game-high eight rebounds and tied for second-most on the team with five assists.
The Michigan Wolverine transfer added two blocks and a steal with zero turnovers to his night, and North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton told the media how opponents can contain the 7-foot-2-inch center.
"First, you gotta pray. You might have to go to church and get a strong service in," Moton said. "... he's going to be a problem, and he's not going to just be a problem for North Carolina Central, I assure you that. He's going to be a problem for any and everyone."
Dickinson and the Jayhawks will get yet another chance to reassure KU fans with a contest against Manhattan College on Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
Senior middle blocker Kim Whetstone
Before an early-season practice at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena
“I think Molly is like the definition of pure happiness and sunshine. There’s never negative energy around her. She’s just a really great person. Everybody should strive to be a Molly Schultz.”
Context: Senior libero/defensive specialist Molly Schultz joined Kansas volleyball for the 2020-2021 season coming out of Rockford High School in Rockford, Mn. Schultz came to Kansas after being an all-conference and all-state prospect in both volleyball and track, but came to Kansas to focus on volleyball.
After setting multiple school records in both sports, Schultz found her role limited on the Jayhawk squad. Schultz played in 66 sets her first season, 78 sets, and then 84 sets last season with Kansas with just a few starts in each of her first three seasons.
Despite seeing her role limited and her statistics dropping as well, Schultz remained a positive influence and presence for the team. Senior middle blocker Kim Whetstone spoke to R1S1 Sports about just how much that attitude affects the rest of the KU roster.
So far this season, Schultz has played 67 sets and has yet to record a kill, with just one set and 17 digs on the year. Even though Schultz’s stats may not be eye-opening, she wants to do whatever it takes to see the team succeed.
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