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Malik Newman key to KU's Final Four run

Posted at 10:11 PM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 23:11:48-04

SAN ANTONIO -- There are many players who have helped the Jayhawks get to the Final Four, but none may be as key as sophomore guard Malik Newman.

The Jackson, Miss. native has scored in double digits in all four NCAA Tournament games this year. That includes a 32 point performance in an overtime win over the Duke Blue Devils in the Elite 8.

"I had to completely change my mentality," said Newman. "Coach [Bill Self] always preaches to me that if you could guard Malik Newman then maybe you would be a player. That's one thing that he always told me. So I've really locked in and focused on it." 

With Newman now focused on keeping his good fortune going against Villanova on Saturday, Self said he's thrilled with his transformation.

"[I told him,] not only are you not realizing your potential, but it's not fair to the others too. You can do a lot more to make them better," said Self.

Newman's transformation also includes the Big 12 Tournament MVP honor.