The actuality in this apple who knows Malik Newman best — his dad, Horatio Webster — says Kansas’ green admixture bouncer is at a abundant abode mentally branch into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
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“He is blessed appropriate now. He is accessible to play. The kid is a winner. He’s activity to do whatever it takes for the Jayhawks to advance. I absolutely accept that,” Webster, a above Mississippi Accompaniment advanced who speaks to his son “two or three times a day,” said Monday in a buzz conversation.
Newman, the MVP of the contempo Big 12 Tournament, denticulate 28 credibility — all in the final 28 account — affective the No. 1 berry Jayhawks to an 83-79 second-round Midwest Regional achievement over No. 8 berry Seton Hall on Saturday at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita.
The achievement gave KU (29-7) a atom in the Midwest Regional semifinals adjoin No. 5 berry Clemson (25-9). Tipoff will be 6:07 p.m. Friday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., with the champ advancing to Sunday’s Elite Eight adjoin Duke or Syracuse.
“He had a abundant bold Saturday, but he’s not out there, saying, ‘Oh, this is unbelievable.’ He’s attractive at it like, ‘This is what I do. I’ve been accomplishing it my accomplished life,’” Webster said.
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He fatigued that Newman, from Jackson, Miss., “only absent one time in his accomplished activity and that’s aback he went to Mississippi Accompaniment (14-17 almanac his apprentice season). It’s the alone birthmark on his resumé. Other than that, aggregate he affected angry to gold.
“At the age of 14, he got on the bounded account bottomward actuality and said, ‘I’m activity to win four accompaniment championships aback I get to aerial school,’ and he did it. He won four accompaniment championships at Callaway (High) forth with two gold medals (for USA Basketball as MVP of the FIBA Under 16 and 17 tournaments). He won the Big 12 championship and appointment clash championship. It’s ‘winning time’ and kid is a built-in winner.”
It took Newman some time to get complex afore demography over Saturday’s bold adjoin Seton Hall. Newman — he denticulate 18 credibility in the additional bisected — attempted (and missed) his aboriginal attempt with 11:55 larboard in the aboriginal bisected and KU arch 13-6. His aboriginal bassinet — on his additional attempt of the bold — came off a layup with 8:21 actual afore halftime and KU arch 17-13.
“Coach (Bill) Self pulled me to the ancillary (at 9:30 mark of the aboriginal half). He was like, ‘Malik it’s been 10 account and you alone took one shot.’ He was like, ‘You are not actuality advancing appropriate now. You are aggravating to let the breeze of the bold appear to you instead of activity out and arena and actuality aggressive,’’’ Newman said.
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“At that point, I afflicted my mindset and told myself, ‘Malik, you are not accomplishing anything.’ I was able to change it. I was able to be advancing and my teammates did a acceptable job of award me.”
Newman accomplished with 10 credibility the aboriginal bisected on 4-of-9 cutting as KU took a 31-26 advance into the break. His 28 credibility came on 8-of-14 shooting. He was 4 of 8 from three and 8 of 8 from the line.
“I anticipate for the best allotment he was aggravating to sit aback and let the bold appear to him. It formed out this game,” Webster said, cautioning, “I don’t anticipate he can allow to anticipate that again. I anticipate he’s got to be actual help. I anticipate he needs to try to grab the balderdash by the horns aback the brawl is angled up. It formed out this bold so we’ll booty it.”
Webster trusts Self will abide to advance the appropriate buttons with his son, who has averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Newman denticulate 72 credibility in three Big 12 Clash amateur that preceded the NCAAs, area he denticulate 10 credibility on 5-of-12 cutting in a first-round win over Penn and the 28 credibility against Seton Hall.
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“I told Coach Self afore he got Malik, ‘Coach if Malik knows you are in his corner, he’ll run through this brick bank for you. It’s the blazon of kid he is.’ He loves Coach Self. Early in the division he may accept said, ‘Is Coach Self absolutely in my bend or not?’” Webster related, acquainted Malik was pulled from several amateur anon afterwards authoritative a mistake.
“Coach Self … it’s why he is in the Hall of Fame. He kept on, kept on and at the end of the day got Malik to buy into, ‘You are activity to do it Coach Self’s way or you are not activity to do it at all.’ I account the hell out of Coach Self for that,” Webster added, noting, “Coach Self fabricated him play. He fabricated him tougher. He fabricated him defend. He fabricated him rebound. He gave him confidence, all the being he didn’t accept at the aboriginal allotment of the year.”
Newman said at this date of the season, Self mainly works on “my mindset, aloof cogent me to accept a chargeless apperception and cerebration aggressive. He says, ‘If it goes good, or if it goes bad, anticipate abutting comedy because it’s a continued game.’ He tells me, ‘Just let it go, go out and accept fun, aloof comedy and aggregate will booty affliction of itself.’”
Self said the accepted adaptation of Newman, “has played brawl the appropriate way, has been explosive, accepting in the zone, fabricated plays for others. He gives us a accomplished altered ambit aback he’s aggressive. I’m aflame what lies ahead. I anticipate he can be a aberration maker in the tournament.”
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