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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Malik Newman helps Kansas put away Iowa State

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) floats in for a bucket during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. Pictured are Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton (5) and Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb (1).

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) floats in for a bucket during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. Pictured are Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton (5) and Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb (1).

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Bill Self told his Kansas basketball team a week ago following a loss to Texas Tech it wouldn’t be the last time the Jayhawks left Allen Fieldhouse sad this season.

That type of post-game displeasure didn’t repeat itself Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse, though. A breakout performance by KU sophomore Malik Newman and another impressive 3-point shooting display by senior Svi Mykhailiuk allowed KU to hold off its pesky visitors from Iowa State, 83-78.

Newman exploded for a career-high 27 points, improving on his previous best of 25 against Ole Miss, when he played at Mississippi State.

Mykhailiuk added 23 on 8-for-13 shooting, and matched his personal record with six successful 3-pointers.

Although senior point guard Devonte’ Graham had an off night with 4-for-14 shooting, he contributed a game-high nine assists.


Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: The Malik Newman Show debuted in the second half.

A former McDonald’s All-American, the 6-foot-3 sophomore transfer from Mississippi State finally displayed the offensive explosiveness KU had been waiting to see.

Newman’s eight-point first half was just enough to get him going, and then he took off in the final 20 minutes. He easily surpassed his previous best scoring night as a Jayhawk (17 versus Toledo) by pouring in 19 points in the second half.

When his fifth 3-pointer of the evening dropped, it gave KU a seven-point lead against a relentless group of Cyclones near the midway point. The shot didn’t come close to sealing the game, but it was one of several crucial moments for Newman.

A backup to begin the night, Newman started the second half because he began carrying himself with confidence and looking like a completely different player than he had over the course of the past couple of months.

Seeing Newman play well and assert himself seemed to help his teammates, too, who, like KU coach Bill Self, kept insisting this day would come for the shooting guard.

Although Newman cooled off in the final minutes, his spark had as much to do with the KU victory as any sub-plot, and his late blocked shot and transition layup with a little more than two minutes left gave KU a 77-73 lead.


• Offensive highlight: The fans in the fieldhouse hadn’t really let loose until a quick sequence in the second half, when consecutive Iowa State miscues gave them reason to raise up and let their voices be heard.

The Jayhawks sent their supporters into a frenzy with back-to-back steals that led to back-to-back break-away slams.

First, Newman jumped in front of an errant Nick Weiler-Babb pass and took it the length of the floor for a one-handed flush before a Cyclone could catch up.

Mere seconds later, Graham poked the ball away from Lindell Wiggington and began a three-on-two race the other direction.

The senior point guard hesitated as he approached the 3-point line on the left side of the floor and then lofted a pass to the right side of the rim, where Vick flew in to finish the fast break with a two-handed jam.

• Defensive highlight: An inspired Newman was so fired up in the first half that he recorded just his fourth blocked shot of the season.

This one wasn’t your ordinary swat, either. Newman pulled it off minus a shoe. After losing one of his adidas near mid-court, Newman didn’t get after a loose ball in his area. But once he spotted Weiler-Babb tracking it down, the KU guard went into chase-down mode and managed to thwart the 6-5 Cyclone at the rim.

Newman didn’t even fall down afterward as his right sock sent him into a brief slip.

• Key stat: Points in the paint. The Cyclones dominated this category the vast majority of the first half — until KU finally got starting center Udoka Azbubuike involved with less than three minutes to go before intermission.

Azubuike’s three dunks and six points in the final stretch of the opening half helped KU avoid an embarrassing deficit in points in the paint. Even with his boost the Cyclones out-scored KU 20-12 inside over the course of the opening 20 minutes.

ISU freshman guard Wigginton scored 6 of his first-half best 16 points on layups as the Jayhawks struggled to defend the interior, enabling ISU to only trail 40-37 at the break.

The Jayhawks discovered far more inside opportunities in the second half, however, and were able to put Iowa State away in part by winning points in the paint, 22-12, in the second half.


• Up next: The Jayhawks will be right back inside Allen Fieldhouse again on Saturday morning, for a Sunflower Showdown with rival Kansas State (11 a.m., ESPN).

By the Numbers: Kansas 83, Iowa State 78

By the Numbers: Kansas 83, Iowa State 78

Comments

Barry Weiss 7 months, 1 week ago

glad to see Malik have a break out game. still painful to watch this team at times. just not in a good synch right now, can't put even one of the bottom tier b-12 teams away at the Phog. That game was even closer than the score. Still a win, but the future is going to be rough.

Free Billy! Free Silvio!

Bryce Landon 7 months, 1 week ago

We weren't the only ones who had trouble tonight. West Virginia had trouble at home against Baylor and ultimately managed to grind out a three-point win with the score in the mid-50s.

Barry Weiss 7 months, 1 week ago

Indeed, all of the teams look fairly equal, not a lot of separation. Not sure if that is good or bad. I know I look at all of our games now, either home or away, as a 50-50 game. We just have no margin for error, even at home. We need Billy and Silvio SOON...the word that means nothing....

Bryce Landon 7 months, 1 week ago

Let me give my two cents on this game:

1) Malik Newman was the MVP tonight, no doubt. Not only because of his career high 27 points, but because of his critical block late in the game of a Donovan Jackson 3-point attempt. Given that Devonte Graham had a bad night offensively, Malik picked an awesome time to come alive. Here's hoping this is the beginning of a new trend with Malik.

2) Speaking of Devonte Graham, on offense, he sucked most of the night; but late in the game at crunch time, he picked a great time to come alive with some baskets to put the Cyclones away.

3) So sick of ESPN's announcers gushing over Iowa State and openly rooting for them to beat us. It feels like it's been this way ever since Fred Hoiberg's days running the show at ISU.

4) Reading this article - what in the hell was Bill Self thinking telling his guys they would leave Allen Fieldhouse sad again later in the season after last Tuesday's loss? You don't ever want to plant in their minds the idea they can lose again. That's as bad as when he killed their buzz on 3-point shooting with the "fool's gold" blast a few seasons ago, or when he got his team so tight last season when he talked about what a big deal the Elite Eight was and essentially lost the game for them before they even took the floor.

5) As a Jayhawk basketball fan living in eastern Iowa, most of the people are Hawkeye fans, but there's a few Cyclone fans here and there, and it's gonna be fun needling them when I see them.

Marcia Parsons 7 months, 1 week ago

Regarding #4, I'm guessing that was a partial quote. It probably was something like saying that if they played the same way again, they would lose again. And I think we've all seen the proof that his "fools gold" remark was accurate. When it isn't falling, we have no offense at all.

Marius Rowlanski 7 months, 1 week ago

Graham did dish out 9 assists and it would have been more if not for missed shots. No doubt he had a bad night shooting but if Malik can be consistent, I wouldn't be surprised if his overall scoring went down.

Tony Bandle 7 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Newman, welcome to Lawrence, Kansas. It's so good to meet you. That other fellow that was subbing for you was a nice enough guy but he lacked confidence in using his talent. You sir do not.

Please continue as you are and I truly hope you enjoy your stay at the University of Kansas. Also, please feel free to play every game for the rest of the season as you did tonight.

Sincerely, The Oakville Jayhawk

Mike Greer 7 months, 1 week ago

Bryce, I can agree with 4 of your 5 points. I don't buy into the idea that Coach is a downer. None of these guys want to be the team that ends the streak nor do they want to be known as the team with the most losses at the Phog. Coach has been very successful at motivation over the years, sometimes telling someone something they don't want to hear motivates them to try harder.

Newman certainly tried harder tonight, this was not just his best scoring night, but his best defensive effort and the most hustle I've seen from him so far this season.

Devonte is a great player, but sometimes he goes dead cold for an entire game, tonight he was able to salvage a decent night in the final three minutes. Hopefully this was his off night for the season. We need him to be at his best if we want to stand a chance either in the Big XII or in March.

Rob Byrd 7 months, 1 week ago

Baylor was a blown lay up away from salting that game at WV away with 4 seconds left and who do they let get the last shot off, but Jevon Carter, who should never have been given that chance. And I love how HCBS basically predicted that Newman would be a new player and a difference maker tonight in hi comments over the last couple of days. Let's just hope that same player sticks around and Vick and Devonte start to both show up at the same game. It's so frustrating to see Vick completely disappear for whole games.Reminds me of Wigs and Seldon.

Marius Rowlanski 7 months, 1 week ago

Devonte hasn't shown up? In what world are you watching these games?

Drew Doerfler 7 months, 1 week ago

my thoughts on the game which probably won't be very popular.

  1. our guards can't keep anyone in front of them and leave 3 point shooters wide open over and over again. I replayed certain defensive plays and our guards are usually just standing there on their heels when they get blown by easily....they aren't in a defensive, on their toes, ready to move quickly, stance. They also don't know when to help and recover or not to help on defense.
  2. our rebounding is atrocious! i don't know how many times i watched a shot go up and our team just stood there...no movement period. no attempt at all to go get a rebound...basically, just stood and watched....over and over again.
  3. Azubuike needs to stop going after shot blocks that he is not even close to. He leaves his man wide open for the easy putback. He is not quick and agile enough right now to cover a lot of ground.
  4. We are not running our offensive schemes, we are just basically jacking up 3's ....some very early in the shotclock without moving the ball around at all. When we start missing 3's our offense gets really bad quickly.
  5. has Vick even been in the game the last 3 games? i don't remember seeing him. ok...he had a couple hustle putbacks late in the game to help us with the win.
  6. Iowa State is not a good team and we barely beat them .... at home. They outrebounded us badly and we gave them wide-open 3 point attempts.
  7. Svi's defense is just bad......

the good news:

  1. Devontae is having a great year and won't shoot that poorly very often. He really needs to work on his defense though.
  2. Malik finally had a great game with effort and hopefully we start getting more out of him because he looked great in this game most of the time.
  3. We will have Azubuike back next year and we will finally be loaded and deep again in the frontcourt.....
  4. If we get Preston and Desousa back soon, we could still be a very good team.
  5. still the possibility of Vick turning it around and becoming the player that he was earlier.

side note....cunliffe needs more playing time right now so that he will be ready for the tournament...we need another guard out there to rest our starters...let him play through mistakes....and Garrett should never shoot another 3 this year unless it is late in the shot clock...right now he is a horrible shooter....know your strengths

DiscGolfer Jason 7 months, 1 week ago

I agree with you on letting players play through their mistakes. Unfortunately, Self doesn't do it and yet in times of need he expects the same players to produce. Not the best way to boost a players confidence.

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