Kansas sophomore Malik Newmanscored 32 points as the Jayhawks routed the Italian All-Stars A2, 118-74, to close out their four game Italy tour Sunday evening. KU ended its Italy trip with a 4-0 record.
The 500 KU-partisan crowd at Palasport Enrico Somaschini gymnasium just north of Milan saw Jayhawks dominate the Italian All-Stars from the opening tip behind Newman’s performance. KU used a guard-oriented crew to dominate the game as sophomore center Udoka Azubuike missed his second-straight contest as he was not feeling well and freshman forward Billy Preston did not play as he was nursing a sore knee.
Newman wasn’t the only Jayhawk to shine in the Tour’s finale, a game which saw KU win its 24th-consecutive exhibition contest and improved to 83-9 all-time exhibition play. Senior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored 26 points and junior guard Lagerald Vick added 20 in the victory. Senior Devonte’ Graham posted a game-high 10 assists to go along with seven steals. KU dominated the rebounds, 49-32, with sophomore guard K.J. Lawson pulling down a team-high nine boards and Newman with seven.
Kansas shared the ball from the outset posting 22 assists on 27 field goals at halftime. For the game, KU had 34 assists led by Graham’s 10 with sophomore guard Charlie Moore dishing six and Vick and Newman five each.
“We came out and Malik shot the ball so well early,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “Considering how small we were, I thought we actually played pretty good for the most part. Those four guards were pretty good out there.”
Kansas led 15-3 with Newman scoring 10 points in the first four-plus minutes of the contest. The Jackson, Mississippi, guard ended the quarter with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Not to slow down, Newman added 10 points in the second quarter to give him 25 at intermission as KU led 66-35.
“The basket just opened up,” Newman said. “My teammates found me early and got me going and I just got rolling from there.”
With the route in hand, Self used a lot of lineups in the second half to get those who suited up ample playing time. For the game, KU scored 48 points via the fast break and 27 bench points. Lawson had nine points for the game including a three-quarters court shot as time expired to give KU the 118-74 win.
Kansas concluded its fourth game in five days posting its four victories by an average of 36 points with the 44-point win in the finale being the widest margin. Self told reporters after the game the Jayhawks have got a lot out of the experience.
“The trip has been good. The people here have been very nice,” Self said. “I believe the best thing we got out of it was traveling, team chemistry and comradery. We learned a lot about each other on the trip. But the best thing for us basketball-wise was probably the 10 practices we had back in the states before we came here. It’s been a good trip. Certainly, we look forward to our last day tomorrow.”
With KU summer school session finishing at the end of July, the Jayhawks will head to their homes before returning for the fall semester which will begin Aug. 21.