🏀 Wilson Named Mr. Jayhawk at Awards Banquet
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt-junior Jalen Wilson 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 tradition poem highlighting the season from emcee and Voice of the Jayhawks Brian Hanni, describing the many success stories posted by the 2022-23 Jayhawks. Following a meal that concluded with a season-highlight video produced by KU’s award-winning Rock Chalk Video, Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod and KU Athletics Director Travis Goff addressed the crowd of more than 400 for the event.
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 2022-23. Self concluded by presenting Wilson with the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk Award.
Wilson will go down as one of the most decorated players in Kansas men’s basketball history. Last week, the Denton, Texas, forward won the Julius Erving Award as the best small forward in college basketball. Wilson was one of four Naismith Trophy and one of five Wooden Award finalists for national player of the year. Wilson is Kansas’ 32nd all-time Consensus All-America First Team honoree. The unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team selection, Wilson led the Big 12 in scoring at 20.1 points per game, rebounds at 8.3 and double-doubles with 12. He posted three 30-point performances and had 22 games of 20 or more points scored this season, including each of his last seven contests. Wilson, who declared for the NBA Draft on April 5, is the seventh player in Big 12 history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season, including the fourth Jayhawk to earn the distinction.
Wilson is just the 10th player in Kansas men’s basketball history to record 1,400-plus career points and 800-plus career rebounds, and the first since Perry Ellis (2013-16). Wilson’s 1,475 points rank 27th on the KU career list and his 802 rebounds are 14th in school history. Wilson’s 28 career double-doubles are ninth on the KU all-time list.
All five of the starters from the 2022-23 team were discussed throughout the evening’s presentations. The five Kansas starters earned postseason accolades from the Big 12 and nationally. In addition to Wilson, redshirt-junior Dajuan Harris Jr. was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and an honorable mention all-league selection. He was joined on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team by senior Kevin McCullar Jr., who earned All-Big 12 Third Team honors. McCullar was a national defensive player of the year semifinalist. Sophomore KJ Adams Jr. was the Big 12 Most Improved Player and an honorable mention all-conference selection. A Jerry West Shooting Guard Award finalist, Gradey Dick was an All-Big 12 Second Team honoree who was a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman and Big 12 All-Newcomer teams. He set the KU freshman record by making 83 3-pointers this season. Dick declared for the NBA Draft on April 3.
Kansas finished its season with a 28-8 (13-5 Big 12) record. KU won its 21st Big 12 and its NCAA record 64th all-time league regular-season title in what most everyone called the toughest conference in the nation in 2022-23. Under Self, the Jayhawks have won 17 Big 12 titles in his 20 seasons on the KU sidelines. Additionally, Kansas was ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 in every poll in 2022-23 and ended No. 4 in the AP final poll of the season.