🏀 Adams Named Mr. Jayhawk at Annual Awards Banquet

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior KJ Adams Jr. was honored with the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk Award at the Kansas men’s basketball annual team banquet Thursday evening at the Burge Union on the KU campus.

The banquet started with an annual traditional poem highlighting the season from emcee and Voice of the Jayhawks Brian Hanni, describing the many success stories posted by the 2023-24 Jayhawks. Then, KU Athletics Director Travis Goff addressed the crowd of more than 350 for the event.

Following a meal that concluded with a season-highlight video produced by KU’s award-winning Rock Chalk Video, Kansas head coach Bill Self then took the stage and recognized the players’ parents, the men’s basketball support and coaching staff, the donors and fans and then acknowledged the team and its many triumphs in 2023-24. Self concluded by presenting Adams with the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk Award.

Kansas Jayhawks
LAWRENCE, KS - April 11, 2024 - forward KJ Adams Jr. #24 of the Kansas Jayhawks and Head Coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks during the end of year men’s basketball banquet at Burge Union in Lawrence, KS. Photo by Aiden Droge/Kansas Athletics

“This is a positive night,” Self said of the Jayhawks who went 23-11, tied for fifth in the Big 12 with a 10-8 league record and advanced to its 51st NCAA Tournament. “We didn’t end the season the way we wanted because of some things that were probably uncontrollable. But it shouldn’t take away from the effort of these kids what they gave us and what they gave you (the fans) to give us the best chance to succeed. These kids never made excuses. They fought their butts off all year long and especially at the end, not only for themselves, but their teammates and for you guys.”

Adams announced his return to Kansas via social media at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season. Named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Adams ranked 20th in the nation in field goal percentage with 60.1%. The Austin, Texas, forward averaged 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and played 33.4 minutes per game. He has 105 assists in 2023-24, which ranked third on the Kansas squad. The 2023 Big 12 Most Improved Player, Adams is on the All-Big 12 team for the second-straight year. Adams ranks third all-time on Kansas’ FG% list at 60.7% for his career. In Kansas’ NCAA First Round contest against Samford, Adams scored 20 points on a career-high 10 field goals made, while also dishing out six assists.

All five of the starters from the 2023-24 team were recognized throughout the evening’s presentations. The five Kansas starters earned postseason accolades from the Big 12 and nationally. In addition to Adams, senior Hunter Dickinson was a Consensus All-America Second Team selection and was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the year, while also earning All-Big 12 First Team. Graduate Kevin McCullar Jr. joined Dickinson as an All-Big 12 First Team selection and was named to most every national player of the year late watch list. Freshman Johnny Furphy was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and was also an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Redshirt senior Dajuan Harris Jr. was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team for the third-consecutive year and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Harris ranked third in the Big 12 in assists per game with 6.0 and helped Kansas lead the nation in assists per game at 19.0 in 2023-24, marking the third time KU has led the NCAA in assists (2001-02 – 20.7 and 2000-01 – 19.4).

In 2023-24, Kansas recorded 23 wins for the 31st time in the last 33 seasons, dating back to 1989-90. Dating back to the 1994-95 season, the Jayhawks have won 10 or more conference games in 29 of the last 30 years.

Kansas finished the season with the No. 21 in NET, going 7-10 vs. Quadrant 1 teams, 7-0 vs. Q2, 4-1 vs. Q3 and 4-0 vs. Q4. Additionally, the Jayhawks were No. 2 nationally in strength of schedule. Kansas has finished in the top three in strength of schedule each of the last three seasons, six of the last seven and nine of the last 11 years.

Kansas finished as No. 17 in the final Associated Press rankings, going 7-5 against Associated Press ranked opponents in 2023-24, including 4-2 versus top-10 teams. Finishing No. 17 in the AP poll, Kansas added to its all-time consecutive record of appearing in the final AP poll to 24 seasons, a streak that started in 2000-01.

Kansas went 15-1 in Allen Fieldhouse and has won 10 or more home games in 38 of the last 39 seasons, dating back to 1983-84. Kansas led the Big 12 in home attendance for the 36th-consecutive season, having sold out 368 consecutive games which dates back to the second game of the 2001-02 season. Kansas also led the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.8%, which was 13th nationally.

Kansas Jayhawks
LAWRENCE, KS - April 11, 2024 - the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team during the end of year men’s basketball banquet at Burge Union in Lawrence, KS. Photo by Aiden Droge/Kansas Athletics