Monday, October 3, 2016

Malik Newman to benefit Jayhawks, self during transfer season

Kansas guard Malik Newman gets in for a bucket past Clay Young during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Malik Newman gets in for a bucket past Clay Young during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Although he won’t be able to play an actual game until the start of the 2017-18 season, Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman got the most out of his first appearance at Allen Fieldhouse last Saturday night.

Starting for the Crimson squad, which included Devonte’ Graham, Carlton Bragg, Josh Jackson, Dwight Coleby, Evan Maxwell and Tyler Self, Newman finished with 12 points and three assists in 18 minutes of the scrimmage that capped this year’s Late Night in the Phog.

Heading into Late Night, Newman said he was equal parts excited and nervous.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of 16,000 people,” he told reporters last week.

But once he hit the floor, the nerves were hardly noticeable.

Newman looked smooth in transition, knocked down a couple of outside jumpers and finished with ease at the rim.

All were skills Newman showed as a true freshman at Mississippi State, where he made 21 starts in 29 games and averaged 11.3 points per game a season ago. But none, according to KU coach Bill Self, would come as easy for Newman in the future as they did on Saturday night.

“I hate to say that,” Self said. “You’re not gonna get open shots like that. He can shoot the ball though.”

For reference, Newman made 61 of 161 three-point attempts (.379) in 803 minutes for the Bulldogs last season. KU’s leading three-point shooter last season (Devonte’ Graham) made 75 of 170 three-pointers in 1,238 minutes.

Although Newman’s ability to knock down the outside shot won’t help the Jayhawks on the scoreboard for another year, Self said Newman’s presence on the roster and deep range will help KU during practice as soon as this season.

Asked which player on this year’s roster Newman’s presence would impact the most, Self offered an obvious but potentially overlooked answer.

“If anybody gets help the most, it’ll be him,” Self said. “Having to go against Frank and Devonte’ and Josh or whatever.... His ball-handling skills will get better, but he can certainly shoot the basketball.”


Robert Brock 5 years, 8 months ago

LIke a lot of these hotshots, he needs to learn WHEN to shoot.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully Newman learns a lot this next year because he's going to need to lead an inexperienced squad next year with the only likely returnees from the rotation being Vick and Azibuike. I'm hopeful Lightfoot would be ready to play but a bit concerned what Maxwell and Coleby (post injury) can contribute. Self really needs to have some more luck recruiting for next year's team. We really need Sexton and Btown. A starting lineup of Newman/Sexton/Vick/Brown/Azubuike would be able to a nice group to take to San Antonio to defend our '08 title.

Dillon Davis 5 years, 8 months ago

Yeah Suzi my concern with this year's team, really the only concern I have is front court depth, particularly at center. If Landen Lucas gets into foul trouble or God forbid gets hurt, I'm worried we'll struggle down low. Udoka is talented but there is no way this 17 year old kid can come in and hang with experienced college big men. He'll come in, get a few boards, maybe a block here or there, a couple fouls, and some rim-shaking put-backs but that's all I'm expecting from him this year. And Lightfoot looks skilled enough where he can come in for Bragg but if Lucas goes out, I'll be concerned. Maybe Udoka's size will be enough to prevent people from going down low but I don't think he can handle major minutes any time soon.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

Also that fact Udoka could not do Boot Camp is a major concern about his physical conditioning to handle major minutes. I'm thinking Bragg will be the more significant back-up to Lucas at the 5 and is why Self keeps harping on his need to score inside.

Matt Tait 5 years, 8 months ago

He did almost the entire first week of Boot Camp and they held him out after that as a precaution. Sounds, to me, like he's in good shape so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect of his adjustment to college basketball...

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

I hope you are right but the fact he could not finish even the first week, requiring precautionary measures tell me his body may not be in good enough shape to compete at this level. After watching him in the HS all-star games, admittedly this has been my preconceived notion, which is reinforced by his not completing boot camp. Not playing 'Late-Night; was sold as part of precaution package but it reminds me a lot of how Self operates, i.e. Greene. Not saying Azubuike is anything remotely like Greene but overtime Greene could/world not compete on the floor, some type of ailment was cited, even in practices. Self would then hold Greene out of the next game(s) until he could/would preform, including the entire last game vs. 'Nova when we desperately needed Greene's outside shooting.

Dillon Davis 5 years, 8 months ago

Bragg won't be backing up Lucas though, Bragg will be starting at the 4 spot. Lucas will be at the 5 and Udoka will have to sub for him when he gets into foul trouble or gets hurt. Just guessing that a 17 year old kid won't be ready to handle major minutes just like Svi in his first year.

Tim Orel 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm hopeful that the mentioned starting lineup will be able to go to San Antonio will be able to defend the '17 title as well.

Joe Ross 5 years, 8 months ago

I didn't know where else to post this on a recent article so Im landing here. Some of you may have read that I knew a guy by the name of Craig Davis who was the head of Tech N9ne's security. Unfortunately, Craig has passed. I was talking to his family today, expressing my positive opinion about his performance at KU's Late Night. His mother showed me some photos of the two together that were pretty awesome. She also told me that the performer also took his name from a model of gun. Some of you who know what a "TEC-9" is wont find this information enlightening, but for the rest of us it might be interesting to know.

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