KANSAS CITY, Mo. — During this year’s annual photo of all the Big 12 Conference coaches, Oklahoma’s Porter Moser shared a joke with Kansas coach Bill Self.

“If I get too close to Bill, someone’s going to call a foul,” Moser said.

“Only at home,” Self replied.

The joke is in regard to the idea that the Jayhawks traditionally get a lot of calls to go their way at Allen Fieldhouse. 

This season, with a team that’s No. 1 in the AP Preseason Top 25, they may not need the help. 

Self, whose KU program is relatively unscathed after recent IARP findings, is now very ready for the season to begin without the stress of dealing with an impending investigation.

“When you’re involved with something such as this, and you feel responsible for so much for something that’s so much bigger than just an individual — not to have that is something I’ll really, really appreciate.”

He said KU is focused when it comes to recruiting and moving forward. ‘

“Now it’s time to go for the throat, absolutely,” Self said.

This season, KU’s National Championship aspirations will be spurred by a returning nucleus of KJ Adams, Dajaun Harris and Kevin McCullar. But the biggest addition is 7-foot-2 Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, who isn’t shying away from playing on a team with a target on their back.

“Everybody wants to be the underdog. Everybody wants to have that chip on their shoulder,” Dickinson said.

“But for me, I always hated going into a game where you’re not the favorite. I always want to go into a game where I’m the better player on the better team. You’re going to give us your best shot, and we’re going to win. That’s always been fun for me.”

Self told reporters he broke two ribs chasing around his grandchildren before the annual “Late Night in the Phog.” But as long as he stays healthy and the team stays healthy, he believes they have a shot a title run.