Monday, December 8, 2014

Bill Self on hand for prep Newman’s show

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Blue-chip basketball prospect Malik Newman put on quite a show in front of Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne at Saturday’s Marshall County Hoop Fest in Benton, Kentucky.

The 6-foot-3 senior combo guard from Callaway High in Jackson, Mississippi, who is ranked No. 3 nationally by, scored 42 points off 15-of-29 shooting (4-for-9 from three, 8-for-12 from line) in Callaway’s 85-71 loss to Orangeville (Canada) Prep.

He finished four points shy of Monta Ellis’ record-setting 46-point performance set in 2004 at the festival. The No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, Thon Maker, had 19 points for Orangeville.

Newman, who is considering KU, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Mississippi, UConn, Texas A&M;, North Carolina State and others, is expected to choose a school sometime in April.

By the time he decides, his recruitment figures to be as highly publicized as that of Andrew Wiggins’ two years ago.

“Newman’s true gift comes before he even puts up a shot. His quickness and natural instincts make him nearly impossible to defend on the perimeter. He sizes up an opponent, finds a weakness and strikes immediately,” Ben Roberts of wrote of Newman, who scored 35 points in Friday’s 76-65 loss to Archbishop Carroll of Pennsylvania.

“He’s got a lot of moves,” Callaway coach David Sanders told “You can really throw anything at him and he’ll figure out a way to get past it. And the best part of his game is he doesn’t really know what he’s going to do. He’s just reacting to the defense. He’s one of those rare kids that can make any shot. And that’s hard to game plan for.”

Newman did not update reporters on his recruitment. “I choose not to speak on it,” he told

His dad, Horatio Webster, who is a former Mississippi State standout, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that his wife asked him last week where he thought Malik would go to school.

“I don’t have any idea,” was his answer. “We’re not even talking about it.”

Most expect him to visit KU sometime during the 2014-15 season.

“It (recruitment) is open to everybody right now,” Malik told the Herald-Leader.

He told the Louisville Courier Journal that he, No. 2-ranked Jaylen Brown (6-7 forward, Wheeler High, Marietta, Georgia), and No. 18 Brandon Ingram (6-8, Kinston, North Carolina High) might want to attend school as a package deal.

“Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA are our common schools,” Bragg told the C-J. “We talk every other day, to see how practice is going. We’ll have to see,” he added, asked the odds of all three picking the same school.

KU assistant Norm Roberts watched Brown score 34 points and grab 12 boards in Wheeler High’s 97-61 win over Walton High on Saturday in Georgia. Coaches from UCLA, Georgia and Georgia Tech also were there in pursuit of Brown.

Bragg sensational: Self, Payne and Illinois’ John Groce watched No. 14-ranked Carlton Bragg score 25 points and grab 13 rebounds in Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph High’s 60-54 victory over Archbishop Carroll on Saturday at the Hoop Fest.

The 6-9, 225-pound Bragg scored 19 of his points the second half, including the go-ahead points on a slam dunk. He also hit a three from the corner late.

“That (Kentucky) platoon system, oh I love it,” Bragg told the Herald-Leader. “It gives everyone a chance to show what they have. They play hard. I’d definitely like that,” he added of playing in one of two UK platoons.

He’s down to KU, UK, Illinois and UCLA.

Mason update: KU sophomore guard Frank Mason III, who sprained his ankle in Friday’s victory over Florida, did not practice Sunday. He’s listed as day-to-day, Self said. KU’s coach indicated after the game Mason might “miss a practice or two” but likely will play in the next game, Wednesday’s 6 p.m. clash at Georgetown.

Diallo update: No. 6 Cheick Diallo, a 6-9 senior from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, had 15 points and 12 boards late Saturday night in a 68-66 Hoop Fest loss to Oak Hill Academy.

Diallo, who will not discuss his recruitment during the season, is considering KU, Kentucky, Iowa State, Pitt and St. John’s.

Maker a keeper: Thon Maker, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016 but likely headed to the Class of 2015, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Thursday’s loss to Sunrise Christian Academy of Kansas at the Hoop Fest. His guardian, Ed Smith, told the Courier-Journal that KU, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville and Stanford have shown great interest in the 7-footer from Athlete Institute in Mono, Ontario, Canada.


Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't like OADs but depending on who stays next year, this kid could help us to the NCAA title next year.

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

Dear Santa,

My list is simple:

  1. Zimmerman

  2. Bragg

  3. Newman

  4. OAD Rule Change

No. 4 is non-negotiable. And of course peace, health, love and a KU National Championship. A Lexus with a big bow would also be a nice touch....Merry Christmas!

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

Call the NBA Player's Union to complain. I'm certain that they want to hear from you.

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

I actually think Santa may be the best bet to get that done...Silver's comments in April gave me hope that something may change before the next negotiations in 2017, but things have been silent since Michele Roberts was hired. I still expect it to change, but not for awhile.

Glen Miller 7 years, 1 month ago

I've read and heard that Zimmerman isn't very high on KU... he's just got us on his list for flair. I'm not on the inside so this is speculation, but it doesn't sound like he's coming to KU. It also sounds like many of these recruits are wooed by Kentucky's platoon crap. I'm getting a bit worried that we aren't going to land any big time players this year. We have ZERO commitments in December? This is not typical for KU.... we normally have at least 1 or 2 good players on board by now.

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

From this article, it seems that Bragg is in awe of the platoon system as well. I think he would actually be a great fit in a KU uniform because there's a greater chance he'll stay for at least two years, whereas Zimmerman's almost certainly OAD. Cal's platoon system seems to be working great right now, but it's still early. I'll be interested to see if egos don't get in the way before the season's over, especially if they lose a couple games. Maybe not, but I'm interested to see.

Tyson Ailshie 7 years, 1 month ago

Do we really need big time players? I mean, of the top 10 variety. Or should HCBS go back to what works better for his system which is to develop 2-4 year players and build a deep level of team chemistry. It worked well in 08. But since we've been chasing after OAD's and top 10 players, it hasn't worked as well. It just doesn't seem to fit his coaching style. Now, I know that in this day and age of OADs and Kentucky and platoon system and blah blah blah. I know it's sexy to go after these players and that even some of it is to compete with UK. But I just don't know if it's viable for KU while we have HCBS IMHO. Just a thought....

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't think we should build our team around OADs but rather use them to help a core of veterans..

We just got stuck w/youth up and down our roster so the OADs were the recent focus. I like when Bill develops teams, not assemble.

Sean Lancaster 7 years, 1 month ago

Your (4) is goofy. I had a freshman student worker doing computer coding for me at KU. He left after his freshman year to make very good money out in Silicon Valley (this was the late 90s). Yet, because you want to watch a kid play at KU more than 1 year, you won't negotiate your desired rule change? If the market will take a 1 and done then let the kid pursue his dream and make his money. This isn't about you.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

The only rule is the current NBA rule that players have to be 19 years of age to be eligible to play in The League.

Some would like to boost the age to 20. The Players Union is not listening (until they reap a financial benefit not presently or overtly discussed).

College has no rule. College is helpless. College is the victim.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

AND are at least one year removed from the graduation of their high school class... which is probably 99% of the time at age 19.

Like Mike, I would also like to see the minimum age raise to 20 years old. One year simply isn't enough. Why make a talented kid go to a college for only one year? It invests very little from the athlete and benefits him about the same. I would rather see the rule changed to either right out of high school or age 20.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

I like the MLB rule. But, today's NBA Players Union is not willing to discuss the matter.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

I thought of mentioning the MLB rule but there is ZERO chance of that happening

Len Shaffer 7 years, 1 month ago

What I have a difficult time understanding is that it actually WOULD benefit the NBA players financially, at least initially. If fewer young guys are coming into the league, that means there will be more veterans, who make more than rookies do.

You would think the players' association would realize that the longer that veterans can stay in the league, the more money players are making.

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

I think you're exactly right. A higher age limit would benefit veterans who can't be excited about losing a roster spot to an unproven kid with "potential". Personally I don't think the Player's Union cares about this issue near as much as they let on. They know it's a bargaining chip in the next negotiations, which is why I expect it to change in 2017.

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

You're right Sean, this isn't about me. This is about college basketball which is a multi-billion dollar industry. This is about what's best for the game. This is about having student-athletes, instead of athlete-students. Virtually every coach agrees that the OAD rule is bad for college basketball. This is also about NBA owners protecting their multi-million dollar investments, which is why they want an increase in the age limit. Personally, as a fan, I'd like to see the baseball rule applied. If someone is talented enough to be drafted out of high-school, let him go straight to the NBA, but if he goes to college, he stays for at least three years. However, I think what will happen eventually is the age limit will simply be increased to 20, essentially creating a Two and Done rule. That kind of a rule will carry with it a whole new set of problems, but most believe it will be better for basketball than the current rule.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

Did your freshman student benefit from his year at KU under your tutelage? Sounds like he was good enough for Silicon Valley right high school.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

Don't leave Jaylen Brown off your wish lists. He is the best player in the class!

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 1 month ago

Malik is a UK bound.

Furthermore, package deals have not worked well for KU.

One has to give tremendous credit to Calapari, his platoon system is working well with OADs and is changing the dynamic of future recruiting.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

I thought the Morris twins worked out just fine... Wished they had stayed another year.

I also recall hearing Wiggins was UK bound.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 1 month ago

Everyone listen, if Thon Maker reclassifies to 15' we want him at all costs. I have a gut feeling that Bill self is leaving the table bare for this kid the same way he went all in on AW.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 1 month ago

Once Kentucky opens 8-9 spots this year KU will have no hopes to land this kid.

Gary McCullough 7 years, 1 month ago

Sooner or later the NCAA and NBA are going to renegotiate the OAD rule because Cal is taking all the sport out of the sport. I don't often agree with Dickie V., but the idea is proposed during the Florida game, that basketball should adopt the baseball rule, is a good way to let the OAD players move on, while the college games can be competitive.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Cal will land the best players out of each class no matter what the rule is. UK is the "it" place to be right now.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

College has no say in the matter. It is strictly an NBA rule.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah..the MLB rule will never happen. As it is, the NBA makes the rules by which the NCAA abide by.

And for all the great players that have gone through Calipari, only one team has hoisted the Championship trophy. He has 10 players on this years team who will all compete in the NBA...hell, UK could be a very competitive NBA team if they somehow could stick together. If Cal doesn't win it all this year, I think the myth of great coach turns into simply great recruiter.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

Great post, if Cal does not win it all this year, he is simply a great recruiter.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 1 month ago

we need to get some combination of Newman, Brown, Bragg, Ingram. One of them + someone else would be fine too

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

IF (won';t happen) but IF no one leaves for the NBA, I think this team has enough parts to bring home a championship. Sure, a little more help would be great but experience would negate the need.

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