Friday, November 24, 2017

Notebook: Malik Newman’s father visits Allen Fieldhouse; no update on Billy Preston

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) roars after an and-one bucket during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) roars after an and-one bucket during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Seeing it during Late Night and an official visit is one thing; experiencing the mystique for an official game is something completely different.

And Friday night, Malik Newman’s father, Horatio Webster, truly experienced Allen Fieldhouse for the first time.

Sitting eight rows behind the visitor’s bench during KU’s 102-59 victory over Oakland, Webster lived and died with every move his son made, clapping often, grimacing occasionally and enjoying every second of the night.

“I checked it out on the visit and earlier,” Webster said. “But it’s just amazing. There’s nothing like it.”

Although Newman’s father plans to make several more trips to the Fieldhouse before his son’s career is over, he said the timing of Thanksgiving and a few other things made this one possible.

Although he had hoped to see his son go off for one of those unforgettable, 40-point nights, Webster said he was simply happy just to see Newman, who logged 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals on 5-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes.

“I saw him as soon as I walked through the door,” he said, beaming with pride. “We made eye contact.”

Though Newman is not off to the start that either he or his father envisioned this season, Webster said he could sense that better days were ahead.

“Hopefully we can bring back a little magic, a little of that high school magic, but he’ll be fine,” Webster said. “He’s off to a slow start, but he’s trying to figure it all out and I think he will. I could tell in his spirit. When we hugged, I could feel it.”

No news on Billy Preston

Kansas coach Bill Self had no news on withheld freshman Billy Preston, who missed his fifth consecutive game while KU’s compliance office attempts to sort out an issue involving a vehicle that he was driving in a one-car, noninjury accident on Nov. 11.

“There’s no new development,” Self said. “You know, holidays aren’t the best time to get a lot of development, so nothing’s happened since I last talked about it on Tuesday.

“And I’m sure nothing will happen over the weekend. We won’t be able to comment on anything maybe until Monday, but I doubt anything happens in the first four or five hours Monday. It’s not on our schedule, it’s on somebody else’s schedule.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self says Lightfoot was 'very important' in 1st half of KU's win over Oakland

After a 102-59 victory over Oakland on Friday, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talked about Mitch Lightfoot's big first half, Udoka Azubuike's improvements and the latest on Billy Preston's situation — "There's no new developments."

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De Sousa update

Earlier this week, ahead of a KU’s Thanksgiving team meal on Thursday, Self offered up a quick update on the status of Class of 2018 big man Silvio De Sousa during his regular radio appearance on Hawk Talk.

“I’m personally pretty optimistic about it,” Self said when asked by a fan what the odds were of De Sousa playing for the Jayhawks this season. “He’s got to graduate, there’s no question about that because of the eight-semester (high school) rule. The (standardized) test score and everything just has to line up (with overall performance in core classes).

Self said Friday that De Sousa had plans to retake the test on Saturday to try to improve his score as “insurance.”

“The thing about it is, when you recruit and take international kids and the transcript’s being evaluated and all these things, you still have to make sure everything transfers the way you view that it does. So we’re working hard with the NCAA to make sure it is being looked at and viewed the same way we view it. People may say, ‘Well, that’s easy to do.’ But it’s really not easy.

“You have to have so much core content, instructional content on your core classes. And you’re taking a class in Angola not offered in the U.S. What is that the equivalent to? Things like that. It’s more to it than what a lot of people think. We’ve only known for a while this was a possibility, so we’ve been on it and our team has been on it hard since we’ve known this was a possibility. But we haven’t got all the answers that we need in order to lock it all in. I’m optimistic, but certainly, in no way, shape or form, has he been cleared by any stretch.”

Back to the Big Apple

KU announced this week that the Jayhawks were one of four teams selected to play in the 2018 NIT Season Tipoff, a two-game, four-team event that will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kansas will join Louisville, Marquette and Tennessee at the event, which is slated for Nov. 21 and 23, 2018. Pairings for the event will be announced at a later date.

Next year’s event will mark the fourth consecutive year that Barclays Center has been the host for the event, which has been played, in some form or another, in New York City every November since 1985.

This and that ...

KU’s victory moved the Jayhawks to 5-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season and the sixth time in the Bill Self era ... KU has won 23 consecutive nonconference games in Allen Fieldhouse ... The Jayhawks now lead the series with Oakland, 2-0, and are 3-0 all-time versus current members of the Horizon League.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oakland

By the Numbers: Kansas 102, Oakland 59

By the Numbers: Kansas 102, Oakland 59


Mallory Briggans 4 years ago

How good can this team be when and if we get Billy back as well as Desouza and Cunliffe

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years ago

Can desouza play one half and done or will we still have him next year? If he's that good next semester. Good god, having a preview of next year with him staying with big 12 and tourney experience would make us insane next year. Especially if Vick stays. If dok stays well then game over for the rest of the competition.

Yonatan Negash 4 years ago

Unless De Sousa comes in and performs at a high caliber (i.e., win top freshmen); he's not going anywhere next year. He's at least a three-year player for KU.

The only underclassman player we'll be losing next year is Vick. Currently, he's rated to be selected in the first round on most NBA draft boards.

Side note, I also think Billy Preston will leave Kansas but not sure that's a real loss.

Gerry Butler 4 years ago

Newman won't be back, you can take that to the bank.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years ago

That's a huge understatement, 3-yr player? DeSousa is ready for NBA, give him 1 yr. Preston is not as good as DeSousa. If he leaves for NBA now, that's a big risk. He ain't LeBron.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

Without Preston, KU is still woefully thin in the frontcourt even w/Silvio. Dok is gone after this year and Preston will never suit up and play at KU. We are talking a minor car accident and can't play. Morningstar sat only a couple of days after a DUI.

The accident isn't the issue. I keep hearing Silvio is better than Preston. Since EVERY ranking has Preston well ahead of Silvio, you're either dreaming or wishful thinking.

You might very well be correct Gerry but his play will need to improve unless he's willing to go in the 2nd round.

Jonathan Allison 4 years ago

to answer your question, I think that the NBA policy is that he has to be one year removed from HS. So I am pretty sure that he will not be eligible for the 2018 NBA draft.

Could he apply for the draft and then petition/appeal to enter the June draft? I don't know, but I would assume that we have him through next season.

Dee Shaw 4 years ago

Billy Preston? Who’s that? Who cares. Time to move one on. DRAMA.

Andy Tweedy 4 years ago

I'm kind of starting to feel that way, too

Barry Weiss 4 years ago

well that is pretty cryptic... “And I’m sure nothing will happen over the weekend. We won’t be able to comment on anything maybe until Monday, but I doubt anything happens in the first four or five hours Monday. It’s not on our schedule, it’s on somebody else’s schedule.”.....sounds like "someone" is going to announce "something" on Monday regarding Preston. Does not sound too good.

Jeff Coffman 4 years ago

My guess like Selby he will have to serve a 12 game suspension and make a donation.

DeMarcus Addison 4 years ago

What has Billy Preston done besides miss a class? It amazes me how people are ready to dismiss this kid already....same thing with cliff Alexander , why do we fault these kids when it’s obviously the parents making the dumb decisions?

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

There is something else going on that I wish a good investigative reporter would uncover. KU players have had DUI's, drug paraphernalia, underage girls ad nauseam and have had lesser suspensions.

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