Each week, we bring you the most memorable quotes from athletes, coaches, and sports personalities who are making waves for KU.
KU men's basketball coach Bill Self
Oct. 18, 2023, at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City, Mo.
"The thing that you'll be surprised about Hunter is just what a great teammate and how unselfish he is… He is, I would say, the most skilled and most talented offensive player that I've had from the center standpoint."
Context: During Big 12 Media Day on Wednesday, Kansas coach Bill Self talked about his team being ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Preseason AP poll. Recent transfer, former Michigan center Hunter Dickinson, has had the spotlight on him since joining the Jayhawks roster. The senior was named the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, as well as the Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first player to earn both preseason honors in the same season.
Dickinson started his Kansas career with a 28-point, six rebound, four assist and three steal performance against the Bahamian National Team back on Aug. 3 in the Jayhawks 92-87 victory. Recent big men like Udoka Azubuike, and David McCormack both saw impressive developments under Bill Self, as well as No. 3 2014 NBA draft pick Joel Embiid. Dickinson will look to become another dominant anchor in the paint for top-ranked Kansas as Self coaches in his 21st season at KU.
Kansas quarterback Jason Bean
Oct. 14, 2023, after Kansas’ 39-32 loss to Oklahoma State
“Days like this are tough. But I feel like a day like this is going to be something we look back on and feel like it made us better. It opened our eyes on the things we need to correct. We played pretty good, but, we just, I missed out on a couple opportunities and it’s totally my fault and I take full responsibility for this.”
Context: Bean started his third consecutive game at QB for Kansas and had a career day. He threw for a career-high 410 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Add that to a career-high in completions with 23, and the Jayhawks hung in there with a tough Big 12 conference rival in the Cowboys.
However, with two interceptions and two turnovers on downs in the second half, Kansas ultimately fell short in the loss. One interception came when KU held a slim, 32-27 lead, as Bean threw to the end zone. The turnover led to an OSU field goal to trim the lead to just two points. On the very next drive, Bean was picked off in KU territory, but Oklahoma State missed the field goal try.
One of the game's big turning points came with 6:28 left in the fourth quarter with the Jayhawks clinging to a two-point lead. On 4th and 5 at the Oklahoma State 40-yard line, Oklahoma State linebacker Collin Oliver nailed Bean behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a fumble, recovered by the offense. The turnover on downs gave the ball back to the Cowboys with great field position, leading to OSU's game-winning touchdown drive.
Kansas women’s basketball’s Holly Kersgieter
Oct. 17, 2023, at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City, Mo.
“Coming here today, that was easy. Look at where we are. Why would we want to pass up this opportunity, (to show off) the place our program is at and it’s obviously going to continue to build.”
Context: After KU’s 25-11 record last season, there were questions about whether super-seniors Holly Kersgieter, Zakiyah Franklin and Taiyanna Jackson would return to the team for one final run. But all three did and now they're ready to tip off a 2023-24 season that they hope will be filled with new highs and all kinds of memorable moments.
The Jayhawks are expected to be a force in the Big 12 Conference this season, earned the No. 3 spot in the Big 12 preseason coaches poll, and the three super-seniors are a main reason why. Despite missing out on an NCAA Tournament bid last season, Kansas dominated the competition en route to a WNIT Championship trophy to cap off the season on a high note.
This trio and the rest of Brandon Schneider's bunch will officially begin the season at home on Nov. 8 against Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m.
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