LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – Jalen Wilson was a highly touted recruit out of high school but in his first game at Allen Fieldhouse his season was taken away.
“I haven’t played an official game since November 11th, the day I broke my ankle, so I’ve been just waiting a long time,” said Wilson.
Wilson played less than 30 seconds in the home opener last season against UNC-Greensboro before leaving with a broken ankle.
“It made my realize how much I love and miss the game, so I’m really excited,” Wilson said on returning.
Not being able to play for a team that finished #1 in the country was a difficult pill to swallow.
“We had a really good team. I feel like besides what happened with covid that we could have made a really good chance to win the national championship. I just really wanted to be a part of that,” says Wilson.
“Jalen’s mindset is I didn’t like the way last year went. I didn’t like sitting there and watching. I learned what I had to do to get better, to put myself in a position to play and he’s done it,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self.
Wilson focused on getting in the best shape possible during the offseason.
“Losing about 13, 14 pounds of fat I’d say and it was really just me. Nobody told me to go home and lose weight. I went home and just reevaluated my season and what I needed to improve on,” said Wilson.
And it’s paying off.
“You guys will be amazed at how he’s changed his body and how much more explosive and everything that he is this year,” said Self.
“I’m able to jump higher now, just faster on the court running, just everything. I don’t think I had enough bounce last year and no explosiveness, so I’ve definitely added that,” said Wilson.