Hello, Newman: Kansas sophomore's breakout performance fuels win over ISU

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) gets in for a bucket against Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb (1) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The signature moment in Malik Newman’s Kansas coming out party on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse — Italy be damned — featured one big time play on both ends of the floor from a player the KU basketball team desperately needed to get going.

With 2:34 to play in a two-point game that felt even tighter than that, Newman stayed down in his stance, watched Iowa State’s Donovan Jackson try to dribble into a go-ahead 3-pointer and then elevated to block the shot. No 3-point winner for Jackson this year.

Instead, Newman’s block led to a run-out and lay-in that gave KU a four-point lead and paved the way for an 83-78 victory over a scrappy Cyclones squad.

“That was a big-time block,” KU senior Devonte’ Graham said of his running mate. “He played great. He was active, that’s what coach has been asking of him, and rebounded.”

Newman also had another block in this one. And it came after a blown tire and a Kansas turnover. As Newman went to pick up his shoe that had slipped off, with his team in the front court, an errant pass went sailing into the back court right past Newman.

As Iowa State's Nick Weiler-Babb sprinted to scoop up the loose ball, Newman momentarily paused and then gave chase, blocking Weiler-Babb's layup attempt for, what Newman said later, was the first one-shoed block of his basketball career.

Newman totaled a career-high 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-13 from 3-point range, and added eight rebounds in 34 minutes.

Asked whether he considered Tuesday’s effort the breakthrough game he was looking for, Newman paused hard before answering.

“Umm. Yeah,” he said. “I mean, it was a good one. I can say that. Maybe.”

So why the pause?

“I mean, it took me 21 shots to get it,” he said. “It’s good, but it’s kind of bad at the same time. But I’ll consider it as a breakout game.”

Newman, who credited constant encouragement from his coaches and teammates and his beloved pre-game donut stick for his big night, was far from the only player to come back from the dead in this one.

Related document

Box score: Kansas 83, Iowa State 78 ( .PDF )

In the middle of a grind-to-the-bitter-end type of Big 12 basketball game against last-place Iowa State, the 12th-ranked Jayhawks (13-3 overall, 3-1 Big 12) survived a serious scare and may have found a couple of missing pieces in the process.

No, neither Silvio De Sousa nor Billy Preston suited up and played in this one. In fact, Self said there was no new news on either player and that it was “status quo” in those situations. But Newman and Lagerald Vick did. And both delivered the kind of performances that Kansas expected to see all season long, with Newman torching the nets and Vick hitting the glass to help pace the KU offense.

Even though Kansas was out-rebounded by 10 — marking the fifth consecutive game KU has lost the rebounding war — the Jayhawks got a few timely rebounds, two of them from Vick on back-to-back possessions on the offensive end that broke a 66-all tie and allowed Kansas to maintain control.

Iowa State led for just nine seconds all game, but made Kansas sweat for every minute of control. The Cyclones, who entered the night as a below-average shooting team, knocked in 11-of-27 3-pointers (40.7 percent) and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.

Kansas, meanwhile, hit 14-of-36 3-pointers — five by Newman and 6-of-9 by Svi Mykhailiuk — including 5-of-12 in the second half to maintain control.

Despite the hot shooting night by a few of his gunners, Self said the 34 attempts was way too many.

“We were over-reliant,” Self said. “Fifteen of our first 19 shots were threes. ...(In the first half), we were on pace to shoot 60 threes.”

While the jack-it-up mentality nearly cost them, Kansas got enough elsewhere to avoid its first two-game home losing streak since the late 80’s and to avoid a second consecutive home loss to Iowa State.

The Jayhawks outscored ISU 27-2 off the bench, 14-6 in transition and 34-32 in the paint.

KU’s best stretches of the night came after Iowa State either tied the game or took the lead, a sign of the scrappiness with which the Cyclones (9-6, 0-4) played from start to finish.

After a silky smooth jumper from freshman Lindell Wigginton (27 points in 40 minutes) put the Cyclones up 42-40, the Jayhawks ripped off a 12-0 run that featured a one-handed hammer dunk by Udoka Azubuike (nine points, six rebounds), a tough-as-they-come, and-one, three-point play by Newman and two transition dunks that ignited the Allen Fieldhouse crowd. The first came from Newman after a KU steal and the second on an alley-oop from Graham to Vick after another steal.

The flush by Vick instantly transformed Graham back into the type of player he has been best at being throughout his career — a yelling, flexing, fiery leader dripping with emotion.

Later, after a rhythm 3-pointer by Newman staved off another ISU run, the KU sophomore celebrated the shot by waving his arms at mid-court to send the KU fans into a frenzy.

“They basically dared him to beat us,” said Self of ISU’s strategy to put one of their big men on Newman defensively. “And he didn’t shoot it unbelievable but I thought he was aggressive and looked for his shot and we wouldn’t have won the game if he didn’t produce.”

By the Numbers: Kansas 83, Iowa State 78

By the Numbers: Kansas 83, Iowa State 78

Comments

Steve Zimmerman

it must be the shoe! great show, Newman!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Joseph Bullock

Definitely the Shoe. LOL

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Yonatan Negash

The talent is obviously there.

Great game, now let's make it a norm.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Steve Johnson

The team has shades of brilliance and other times looks like a JUCO team. They are still slow to defend and give up open shots everywhere. They seem to watch each other versus moving and operating as a team. Other than Graham, no one seems to have consistency. I have never seen a KU team this bad on basics like blocking out, rebounding, free throws, passing. It seems every pass other than Grahams is either 5 feet over their heads or in their feet.
Iowa State is not a good team and we could have easily lost but thats basketball. vick seems to be struggling as is Garret. Garret won't shoot the ball now if he is 10 feet from the rim which may be good.
Big Dok is playing well with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Very impressed with him but man it looks like he is miserable and out of breath every time they show him.
Sam looks like a high school player. I think the coach has some of these kids wound so tight they are scared to death. Billy Preston will be a huge relief for the entire team and will be another go to player immediately. Not giving up on the team but expectations have been reset after watching them. Its not the end of the world if we don't win the Big 12 and hopefully we get bounced out of the Big 12 Tournament early as that seems to drain the energy before the NCAA big dance.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Marius Rowlanski

Damn, you're a real Debbie Downer.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Steve Johnson

And you are a typical KU is the greatest team ever and we are going to win the Tournament fan. Its called being realistic and keeping expectations in line with the team we have. Sorry you don't like reality but its how I see it.
Other than Graham, the team has some good and no great players.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Tom Jones

Uhh...Marius is not at all the way you're describing him based on the posts I've seen. Calm down.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

['']

Keegs is a prophet!!!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Craig Carson

glad KU won, but they allowed far too many open shots to ISU...they went up by 8 or 9 a few times only to give ISU back to back wide open 3's..they wont be able to do that against the top teams and expect to win

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Bryce Landon

Favorite play of the game for me was when Newman blocked a Donovan Jackson 3-point attempt late in the game. No one had been defending Jackson much of the night, and he was the one who sealed our doom last year. When we needed a big defensive stop, Newman came through.

Suck it, Cry-Clowns!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Marius Rowlanski

+1 Iowa State has become our most heated rivalry now that Missouri is gone.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Craig Carson

in terms of the headache they have given KU fans because of the success they have had against us yes, but I wouldnt compare it to the MU/KU rivalry..I really wouldnt even call it a rivalry...MU and KU HATED each other....in the KU/ISU series, the hate is more from ISU fans..I dont hate ISU, but ISU fans HATE KU...

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Bryce Landon

You may not hate ISU, but I hate ISU.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Marius Rowlanski

Never stated or implied that ISU/KU was in any way comparable to MU/KU.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Craig Carson

you stated ISU as a rival and I simply said that ISU and KU arent rivals..a true rivalry has to include 2 fan bases that genuinely hate each other..with equal hate on both sides..overall, there is no deep seeded hate from KU towards ISU..we may dislike them, but not hate..in terms of giving KU fits on the court, ISU is a rival..but like I said, there isnt REAL hate except from ISU fans..they STILL havent forgiven Drew Gooden for slamming the ball on their court in 2002 (even though they did the same thing in AFH the year earlier) LOL

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Joseph Bullock

Amen, Bryce Landon

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Ardy Dehdasht

This version of MN makes missing out on Trae Young a bit more bearable.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Mike Barnhart

Whoa, don't clear space in the rafters just yet. This guy performs like the love child of of Kenny Gregory and Wayne Selden. Just like those guys, he's flashy, never shy to pull the trigger and dreadful 75% of the time. Then, just when you're begging for him to get benched, he'll get hot for about ten minutes... #foolsgold

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Craig Carson

@Mike..try to have some positivity about Newman...he had been playing better the last 2 games and had been more active..this game his shots finally started falling..not saying he will score 20+ a night but its good to have another guard who can put up 20 besides Svi and Graham

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Brad Farha

Love the Seinfeld reference! More importantly, it was great to see Newman play with a freer mind and have a great game.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Joseph Bullock

Sometimes, KU fans are as negative as UK fans! As I have been saying all along, Newman will be fine. He has had to learn a completely new style of play, especially since he is, for the first time ever, playing on a team where he is not asked to do everything. And he sat out a year, and if you have ever played basketball, almost everyone who has to sit out an extended period of time, whether it is for an injury, or a transfer, it takes time to get used to playing with the 1st team, and to get your confidence back, in your stroke! Once Newman is playing like I have always expecting him to, on a regular basis, those of you who have been so critical, will either be back on the Band Wagon, or really quiet! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, and Rock Chalk, Newman Hawk!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Marius Rowlanski

"As I have been saying all along, Newman will be fine."

LMAO... Sure you did. Care to paste an example with a date?

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Adam James

Good win by the Hawks last night. Newman will continue to improve and we will get a big boost when/if we get Preston or DeSousa. Not trying to be a downer, but I think for this team to reach the Final 4 there are a few areas we need to somehow overcome to take the next step. The coaching staff is obviously trying to address these, but the question for the Jayhawks is: Even if/when we get a big guy, will we be able to significantly address the issues below.

Passing: We move the ball well at times, but outside of Devonte we don't have guys that find each other for easy looks while attacking off the dribble.

Defense: On ball defending. This will improve slightly as we will have some more rim protection, but our guards are not great defenders.

Rebounding: This will improve a bunch with another big guy, but will Preston and DeSousa have enough time to really make a difference in this area.

Finishing in the lane: Bottom line we either dunk the ball or shoot a three. This will improve slightly with a big guy, but our guards are not great finishing while attacking the paint.

I think we can overcome the Passing and finishing in the lane, but it will be interesting to see if our Defense and Rebounding make a big enough jump to make us a force. If we can make this jump we will be a legit FF team. If not, we will still be a tough out in March, but our margin for error will be paper thin. It's going to be exciting to see how it plays out and hope we all can enjoy the next 3 months.

RCJH!!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Barry Weiss

what is the latest on Billy and Silvio???? don't say SOON!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

Report

Commenting has been disabled for this item.