Kansas Jayhawks shine in home opener despite Bill Self’s suspension


Colin Crane

Students and Fans pack Allen Fieldhouse for Kansas’s first game since their 2022 National Championship win.

Colin Crane, Staff Writer

Following their stellar 2021-2022 season, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Omaha Mavericks 89-64 in their first game of the season. They were led by freshman guard Gradey Dick, who scored 23 points in 32 minutes, and returning junior Jalen Wilson, who scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. 

Before the season started, head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend were both suspended for the first four games of the season for a number of recruiting violations. With the head coaching job vacant, assistant coach Norm Roberts took over the position and led the Jayhawks to their first win of the season. While this was a big step up for Roberts from being an assistant to head coaching an NCAA powerhouse, this wasn’t his first time in a head coaching position. Roberts had been a head coach at St John’s for six seasons prior to being selected to Bill Self’s team. 

While the loss of head coach Bill Self was huge, there couldn’t have been a better time for his suspension. During March of 2022, Self led his team to a national championship and earned the largest comeback win in tournament history. Kansas defeated powerhouse North Carolina 72-69 in one of the most exciting games of the season. 

Self credited his extraordinary win to all of the players that he coached, since most were seniors and he had helped them develop into the players they are today. Two players that Self had pointed out were forward Ochai Agbaji and guard Christian Braun. Both players stood out during the whole season and rightfully earned their spots on NBA rosters, with Agbaji playing for the Utah Jazz and Braun playing for the Denver Nuggets.