KU’s offense explodes, Gradey Dick a big reason why

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 9:06 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, IA. (WIBW) - Gradey Dick’s first collegiate double-double in his first NCAA Tournament game fueled Kansas into Round 32.

13 Sports asked what the expectation and message was even with Bill Self sidelined.

“We just talked about being locked in understanding that nobody should want it more than you,” KU Acting Head Coach Norm Roberts said. “You should want to come out here and this is why you come to Kansas to come play in games like this and the NCAA tournament, it’s here now so make the best of it.”

“The tone in the locker room is like we have something to prove and we’re the worst team in the country,” KU Center Ernest Udeh Jr. said. “We have that chip on our shoulder and that edge. When you wear that Kansas across your chest, there is a lot expected of you, the people that came before you, the alumni, the school in general, you’re expected to be great.”

All five started put up double figures with Jalen Wilson’s 20 and Dick’s 19.

“It’s special because I got my first taste of March Madness and tried to come out and affect the game in multiple ways is what I was trying to do and we did a good job of that, our whole team,” Dick said.

“He played terrific, he played with great confidence, shooting the ball well, rebounded very well and I think he got up and down the floor well too,” Wilson said.

“I mean he’s been in big games and made big shots for us when we needed him most and he went out there and did a great job tonight and competed on both ends of the floor and had that double-double and that’s huge, shows the player that he is,” Kevin McCullar Jr. said.

They believe as a collective unit, they can still improve on defense and that will be the focus on Saturday despite giving up just 68 points.

“We still got to get better on defense, we have some nicks and messed up some rotations and we’ll clean that up and be straight,” KU Guard Dajuan Harris said.

“We got to get back on transition, we have to do a better job and sort in transition,” Roberts said. “We got to rebound the ball better. Our first shot defense wasn’t very good early on but got better as the game went along and we’re going to play against some teams with a lot of great athletes and we have to do the little things some more.”

The Jayhawks will now play Arkansas on Saturday hoping to make it back to the Sweet 16 once again.