Self’s status still unknown, Jayhawks prepare to begin NCAA Tournament

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:10 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, IA. (WIBW) - The quest to repeat is about to begin for No. 1 seed Kansas in the Midwest Region.

Norm Roberts said Bill Self’s status is still day-to-day and they expect him to coach at some point in this tournament. With or without Self for now, it’s time to play Kansas basketball.

“It’s a blessing to be back here as a number one seed and I don’t think anyone is looking at it as repeating, I think it’s for us to go win it again for ourselves,” Kansas Forward Jalen Wilson said.

Self has been with the team the last couple of days and is feeling good according to Roberts and the players say he hasn’t missed a beat.

“You can just hear it in his voice like hoping he’s doing good and stuff but once you see him up and moving and being around us, he’s still getting on us like he was before he went through some things and makes us smile kind of and when he’s getting on you, you kind of miss that,” Kansas Forward Kevin McCullar Jr. said.

“He just shows his intelligence of the game every single time and if you screw one thing up, he never lets you hear the end of it but that’s what makes him great,” Kansas Guard Gradey Dick said.

“He’s always joyful, he tell us we’re terrible on defense still and he’s just always up there and back like he never left,” Kansas Forward KJ Adams Jr. said.

This team lost over 70 percent of their scoring from a year ago. They still have experience from that championship roster a year ago and they know what’s at stake, it’s win or go home.

“You’re playing against a champion, you’re playing against a team that knows how to win, you’re playing against a team that’s a little older and battle tested so they’re going to give us there best shot,” Roberts said.

“These are the most exciting times of the year for a college basketball player. I’m just experiencing it so it’s going to be special,” Dick said.

Everyone is full healthy including McCullar and Dick but it’s the next man up mentality and take it one day at a time.

“We already told them all like you’re not freshman anymore, everyone had played in enough games, have played in enough minutes and especially Gradey, he’s played the majority of the minutes for the freshman and has hit big shots for us,” McCullar said.

“You’re not going to hit a home run and get to the National Championship, everything is a process, and you have to go through that process whether it’s during the regular season, the conference tournament, everything is a process,” Kansas Guard Joe Yesufu said.

Tip-off is set for one p.m. on TBS.