LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) – Behind 23 points from redshirt-junior Jalen Wilson and 20 from freshman Gradey Dick, No. 5 Kansas men’s basketball kicked off the 2022-23 season with a 94-63 exhibition win against Pittsburg State Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.
It was less than a stellar start to the first half for the Jayhawks as the Gorillas stormed out the gate with a 12-0 run after tip. A steal from senior Kevin McCullar Jr. sparked a Kansas run allowing the Jayhawks to lead for the first time at 27-26. From there, the lead changed twice with the Jayhawks pulling away and taking a 39-34 halftime advantage.
In the second half, the Jayhawks added to their lead going on a 15-2 run to start the period. Wilson scored 13 of his 23 in the opening half, while Dick had 13 second-half points, which included a perfect 2-for-2 from three-point range. McCullar was the only other Jayhawk in double figures with 13 points for the contest.
As a team, Kansas shot 55.7 percent (39-of-70) from the floor and 40 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the arc, while holding Pittsburg State to 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor. The Jayhawks dominated inside outscoring the Gorillas 62-22 in points in the paint. KU forced 19 steals and scored 22 fast break points for the contest.
The night began with a moment of silence for remembering former Kansas forward Gethro Muscadin who passed away on Monday, Oct. 31.
The next video was a montage and banner unveiling that was dedicated to head coach Bill Self and his father, Bill Self Sr., who passed away late last year. The banner revealed part of a phrase that Self’s father used to tell him and his siblings while growing up and one that was embodied by the 2021-22 teams’ journey to the NCAA Championships, “Just Load the Wagon.”
Kansas will open the 2022-23 regular season facing off against Omaha Monday, Nov. 7, in Allen Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. CT on Big 12 NOW. Kansas has won a mindboggling 49-straight home openers dating back to the 1973-74 season, including 19-0 under Self.