Newman sets career scoring mark in Jayhawks’ 83-78 win over Iowa State

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas combo guard Malik Newman entered Tuesday’s game against Iowa State having scored in single digits in three of the Jayhawks’ last four contests.

The former starter, who was demoted to a sixth-man role to start the Big 12 season, had hit just one three-pointer in seven tries in the last three games — Big 12 Conference wins over Texas and TCU and a loss to Texas Tech.

“Frustrating? Yeah of course you’ll be frustrated with your play because you know you are a better player than that. At the end of the day you have to keep grinding and get yourself out of that hole,” said Newman, a former McDonald’s All-American and top-10 high school recruit out of Jackson, Miss., after busting a slump by scoring a career-high 27 points — 19 in the second half — and grabbing eight rebounds in KU’s 83-78 victory in front of the usual sellout crowd at Allen Fieldhouse.

Newman made 10 of 21 shots, including 5 of 13 threes, on a night in which the Jayhawks (13-3, 3-1) put up a school-record-tying 36 threes, hitting 14. He also had two big blocks and two assists in 34 minutes.

“I mean it feels good,” said Newman. He shattered his personal-best scoring mark as a Jayhawk, surpassing the 17 points he got against Toledo. The sophomore transfer scored 25 points in a game in his freshman season at Mississippi State.

“The players, they’ve been putting pressure on me to just be aggressive, play my game and be myself. Tonight I tried to come out and do that,” Newman added.

Newman, whose 27 points are the most by a non-starting Jayhawk since Terry Brown scored 31 in a win over Kentucky in December 1989, said coach Bill Self joined the KU players in trying to build his confidence of late.

“Coach basically said the same thing he’s been telling you guys (media), that I’m going to be fine, keep being aggressive, that I’m going to work my way out,” Newman said. “He and my teammates have been doing an incredible job with that.”

Newman said his dad, mom and uncle also have spoken with him a lot during a slump that had seen him miss 12 of his last 16 threes over five games.

“I think he needed it a lot. The last couple of games, he hasn’t scored the ball that well. For a guy who’s a scorer like he is, you just want to see the ball go in the hoop for him. I think tonight, he got a lot of momentum going,” KU senior point guard Devonté Graham said of Newman, who started the second half in place of Marcus Garrett.

Garrett, who had five points and two rebounds in 15 minutes, is the guard who replaced Newman in the starting lineup to open Big 12 play.

“I didn’t think Marcus played very well,” Self said. “We play Marcus as defensive stopper and he lets Donovan (Jackson, 20 points on 6 of 14 from three) walk into two threes to start the game. I don’t understand it. There’s definitely no reason why you should feel timid defensively. That’s why he (Garrett) is out there. He’s not out there to make shots.”

Of Newman’s performance, which Newman conceded was a “breakout game,” Self said: “They put their center (Cameron Lard, a 6-foot-9 freshman) on him. They basically dared him (Newman) to beat us. He didn’t shoot it unbelievable, but I thought he was aggressive and looked for his shot. We wouldn’t have won the game unless he produced.

“His block (in the second half and ensuing layup after the block to give KU a 77-73 lead at the 2:31 mark) was huge. We scored off that, too. He had eight rebounds. If not for he and Lagerald (Vick, eight rebounds and eight points) again I don’t know who was going to rebound. We got whipped on the glass (44-34),” Self stated.

Graham said putting Lard on Newman might have been ill-advised.

“The way they were sagging off Malik, I feel like he didn’t have any choice but to shoot the ball as many times as he did. I felt like every shot he took tonight was a pretty good shot,” Graham said.

As far as helping Newman’s mental state, Self said: “I thought he did a good job with that (having fun and playing carefree). Hopefully it’s a great step in the right direction, a big step. He’ll be much better moving forward. Malik can get you 15 (points) a game. We need him to give us 25 to 33 minutes a game and be a threat. I think that’ll go a long way with his confidence.”

 

Svi Mykhailiuk scored 23 points, with a career-high tying six threes in nine attempts, while Graham had 11 points and nine assists. Newman hit two threes in the first half — Mykhailiuk had five — as the Jayhawks hoisted a school-record 24 threes for a half, hitting nine of them. KU led 40-37 at the break.

Iowa State, which was led by Lindell Wigginton’s 27 points, fell to 9-6 overall and 0-4 in the conference. Nick Weiler-Babb scored 13 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists for a near triple double for the Cyclones. Lard had 15 points.

The Cyclones a season ago had ended KU’s 51-game winning streak at Allen.

Newman scored 13 of KU’s 17 points in a 17-8 run that gave the Jayhawks a 57-50 lead at 14:05. The game was tied at 73-73 when KU went on a 9-0 run to put it away, 82-73, with 55 seconds left.

Self said he “won’t apologize” for a narrow win against a winless team (in conference play), but he also said his squad has much room for improvement.

“I think about five of them did,” Self said of Jayhawks having fun and playing with energy. “Still a couple or three didn’t. Svi and Devonté, they are seasoned. They are tough without question. We have some mood swings with some other players that have to be eliminated or you will never max out.

“If I was a young kid to play in that atmosphere, I’d be so excited each and every time. Marcus, Udoka (Azubuike, nine points, six rebounds and four blocks), Lagerald and Malik, I think we can do better playing to that. We play cool too often.”

KU will next meet Kansas State at 11 a.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Status quo on Preston, De Sousa

Self said there was no change in the status of freshmen Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa, who are waiting on word from the NCAA regarding their eligibility to play in games this season.

“Everything is still status quo. I don’t have any new information for anybody,” Self said. “I’ve said it before, it’s a process. We respect it. Of course we’re disappointed. The reason I’m disappointed is because two kids aren’t playing yet. NCAA has got to do what they gotta do. We understand that.”

Notes

▪ KU avoided losing back-to back home games for the first time since Roy Williams’ first season at KU in 1988-89.

▪ Iowa State was thwarted in its bid to win two straight at Allen Fieldhouse for the first time since 2000 and 2001.

No. 12 KANSAS 83, IOWA STATE 78

Iowa St.

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Lard

34

7-10

1-4

10

0

3

15

S.Young

15

0-0

1-2

1

1

4

1

Jackson

38

7-19

0-0

4

3

4

20

Weiler-Babb

38

5-12

2-2

10

8

1

13

Wigginton

40

10-20

3-3

2

0

0

27

Brase

24

1-5

0-0

7

1

3

2

Talley

6

0-1

0-0

3

0

0

0

Lewis

3

0-0

0-0

0

0

1

0

Totals

200

30-67

7-11

37

13

16

78

Percentages: FG .448, FT .636. Three-Point Goals: 11-27, .407 (Jackson 6-14, Wigginton 4-8, Weiler-Babb 1-5). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots: 1 (Lard). Turnovers: 16 (Lard 6, Weiler-Babb 3, Wigginton 3, Brase 2, Jackson, Talley). Steals: 4 (Brase, Lard, Weiler-Babb, Wigginton). Technical Fouls: Lard, 00:45 second. Fouled out: None.

 

Kansas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Azubuike

35

4-5

1-4

6

0

3

9

Garrett

15

2-3

0-0

2

1

0

5

Graham

38

4-14

1-2

2

9

2

11

Mykhailiuk

36

8-13

1-3

3

1

2

23

Vick

36

4-9

0-1

8

4

1

8

Newman

34

10-21

2-3

8

2

1

27

Lightfoot

5

0-1

0-0

1

0

1

0

Cunliffe

2

0-1

0-0

0

0

2

0

Totals

200

32-67

5-13

30

17

12

83

Percentages: FG .478, FT .385. Three-Point Goals: 14-36, .389 (Mykhailiuk 6-9, Newman 5-13, Graham 2-7, Garrett 1-2, Cunliffe 0-1, Lightfoot 0-1, Vick 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 8 (Azubuike 4, Newman 2, Lightfoot, Mykhailiuk). Turnovers: 9 (Vick 3, Graham 2, Azubuike, Cunliffe, Garrett, Newman). Steals: 10 (Graham 4, Vick 2, Azubuike, Garrett, Mykhailiuk, Newman). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled out: None.

Half: Kansas 40-37. Att: 16,300.


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