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Jayhawk Talk: A few of the top quotes from the week that was

Passion and spirit collide to bring you the most memorable words of the week from the world of Kansas athletics

3 min read
Kansas guard Kevin McCullar Jr. talks to reporters during the Jayhawks' media day at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. [Chance Parker photo]

Each week, we bring you the most memorable, and inspirational quotes from athletes, coaches, and sports personalities who are making waves for KU.

Quote #1

Kevin McCullar Jr. on feedback from NBA teams

Oct. 25, 2023 at KU basketball media day

“It was great for me. I got to get in front of a lot of teams and talk to a lot of people. The main feedback I got is that I’m a guy that pretty much does everything, a guy whose game can translate and be a role player in the NBA and help stars be who they are.”

Context: After Kansas fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, redshirt-senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. entered the NBA's pre-draft process, along with teammates Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick. McCullar worked in front of multiple NBA teams and front office reps, but decided to return for one final season in a Jayhawk uniform on May 24, 2023. 

McCullar made a huge impact on the Kansas squad last year, averaging 10.7 points per game and seven boards per game, along with a whopping 68 steals in 34 games played. McCullar earned Big 12 all-defensive team honors, as well as being named to the all-Big 12 third team. 

The 6-foot-7-inch transfer from Texas Tech was not projected to be drafted in the NBA draft this past offseason, and McCullar decided to give it one last go with the Jayhawks to end his college career. 

Quote #2

KJ Adams on Bill Self’s expectations of him this season

Oct. 25, 2023 at KU basketball media day

“Last year, it wasn’t really to score too much; just trying to get everybody else involved and play as much defense as I can. This year, it’s going to be a little different. He’s asked me to be a little bit more aggressive and just be more of a threat on the offensive side.”

Context: With the addition of senior center Hunter Dickinson to the Kansas basketball roster, KJ Adams will should have a much different role in the Jayhawks’ offense.

The junior averaged 10.6 points per game last season, good for fourth-best on the Kansas squad, while also converting at a 62.2% clip from the field. Adams proved to be an inside threat on defense as well, racking up 56 combined steals and blocks in 36 games played in the regular season. 

Adams’ role now changes with the 7-foot-2 Dickinson hanging out in the low post. KU coach Bill Self now wants Adams to be aggressive and look for his shot and ways to score on the offensive end. 

Adams, a career 0% three-point shooter on four attempts, will look to increase his scoring average in a number of different ways this year in a newly-defined role under Self. 

Quote #3

Hunter Dickinson on PG Dajuan Harris Jr.'s impact 

Oct. 25, 2023 at KU basketball media day

“He doesn’t care about scoring. He just wants to make the right plays and just cares about Kansas scoring. I think it’s so invaluable to have a guy like Dajuan in college nowadays who is fine with just making people better, making his teammates better and not caring about individual accolades.” 

Context: Redshirt-junior guard Dajuan Harris Jr. has been the catalyst for the Kansas Jayhawks for the past three seasons. Harris was fifth on the team in scoring last season, averaging 8.9 points per game while dishing out 6.2 assists per game. 

Harris not only ran the KU offense, but he also was a pest on the defensive side of the ball. Harris led the team in steals with 78, averaging just over two per game while also racking up 15 blocks on the season. Harris’ ability to dish the ball to teammates for easy buckets improved drastically compared to his 2021-2022 season, when he averaged 4.15 assists per game coupled with 5.4 points per game.

Harris was recently named to the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Watch List, recognizing the nation's best point guard in college hoops. He would be the first Jayhawk to win the award since Frank Mason III back in 2017.

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