Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Malik Newman, formerly of Mississippi State, visits Lawrence today

Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (14) dribbles up court past Arkansas forward Keaton Miles (55) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Mississippi State won 78-46. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (14) dribbles up court past Arkansas forward Keaton Miles (55) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Mississippi State won 78-46. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


As expected, five-star guard Malik Newman ended up being a one-and-done at Mississippi State, just not the way the basketball world envisioned.

Newman, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Jackson, Miss., who arrived at MSU as’s No. 8-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2015, declared for the 2016 NBA Draft after averaging 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the (14-17) Bulldogs.

After receiving so-so reviews at the NBA Combine and in individual workouts with the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, he pulled his name out of the draft, then promptly announced plans to transfer from the SEC school.

Newman — who chose MSU over Kentucky, Kansas University and North Carolina State the first time around — today as a prospective transfer begins his fifth and final official recruiting visit to KU.

He already has trekked to Oregon, Western Kentucky, Miami and N.C. State.

“Injuries (turf toe, back) slowed Malik down this year,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla told “He had a couple moments of brilliance at the Combine (where he averaged 6.5 points and 1.0 assists in two games), but I think it’s best to put together a solid sophomore season.”

Newman — he hit 39.1 percent of his shots last season (37.9 percent from three; 68.7 from the free-throw line), would be able to practice at KU against the likes of Josh Jackson, Devonté Graham, Frank Mason III, Svi Mykhailiuk and Lagerald Vick this season while being eligible to play in games in 2017-18 season.

“I just think it was the injuries,” Newman told when asked of his experience at MSU. “I mean, nagging injury after nagging injury. I never could get 100 percent during the season. That’s really the only thing I can think of.

“I feel like the only thing I have to prove is that nothing has changed about Malik Newman,” he added in a mid-May interview. “I feel like I’m healthy right now, I’m 100 percent and it’s just all about going there showing that I can play with these elite guys and I am an elite guy.”

Ben Simmons, the No. 1 player in the class, also played for a team (LSU) that did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Newman was asked if the lesson to be learned was top prospects need to attend blueblood schools, where an NCAA bid is all but guaranteed.

“Of course not because everything that I went through at Mississippi State made me the person that I am right now today,” Newman told “And so who says that I go to Kentucky or even (Simmons) goes to Kentucky and our seasons still don’t turn out the same? So I mean just because it was a thing of it’s Kentucky and Kentucky is a blueblood school ... I feel like a school is a school and it’s up to the team to prove how far that team goes.”

He has not announced yet when he will choose his new school.


Tony Bandle 5 years, 6 months ago

Malik, that year of practice against this current crop of elite KU guards will be almost as valuable for your development as the year of competition following. That year of practice worked out pretty good for Ben McLemore, didn't it.

Robert Brock 5 years, 6 months ago

This kid needs to work extremely hard on every facet of his game. He is overrated. Good luck to him wherever he goes.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure Coach Self has adequate video and intel to determine how he should be rated.

Now that he's played a year of college his ratings are based on that, not whatever opinions people had when he was in high school.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

Great point Oak!

He has to sit out next year, no matter where he goes. The best situation for him next year will be the school that give him the most competitive experience in practice. There's nowhere better than Kansas where would be lining up against Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, Svi, Vick, and Josh Jackson day in and day out.

After a year of practice he'll be ready to defend the best guards in the country at all three perimeter positions. Not to mention finishing in the paint against guys like Lucas, Bragg, Coleby, and Azabuike.


Brett McCabe 5 years, 6 months ago

Going into this, I thought that we would get Newman but not Thornton. Thornton had done the blue-blood thing, which was going to take some of the allure off of KU. Newman has not, and I think that he'll commit while he's here or shortly after. Like my high school football coach used to preach - if you make one mistake, don't make two.

Though his freshman season was underwhelming, he's here which means Self wants him here. It would be interesting if you went and readjusted the rankings based on what you know now, like they do with the draft. I'm guessing he'd still be rated top ten at his position, which will work.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm curious what "mistake" you think was made in not signing Thornton. Should Lawrence have been built in California? Should the school have located further west? Might he have signed if the campus was in Elkhart KS?

When you say that rankings could be redone based on what "we know" you seem to imply that some shared base of knowledge exists that you are involved in. I've seen examples of your knowledge. It's safe to say that there isn't a "we" that you could realistically claim to be included in....

Brett McCabe 5 years, 6 months ago

The mistake "comment" was referencing Newman's decision to go to MSU.

If you are going to troll, at least try to improve your reading comprehension, which has been suspect since you started your classless bullying on this site many moons ago. Stupid is as stupid does. Do I need to explain that to you, too? Moron. Emaw. Diallo is the next Hakken Olajuwon.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

C'mon Brett, both you and Jay make several really good comments regarding Kansas Basketball and are probably not that far apart on several 'off-topic' issues.

We are all Jayhawks, let's try to focus on what counts on this page.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

My impression is he's referring to Newman's first mistake was that originally signing with a non-bluebood school where he'd get not only the national exposure but also wouldn't have the daily practice against quality competition to help hone his skills. I don't think he's referring to not signing Thornton as the "first mistake."

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Agree Dale but Ben Howland has always been a top recruiter and has the #6 class (Rivals) coming in this year.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Good observation that Newman is here because 'Self wants him here." I've read so many detrimental things about Newman but as long as Self wants him...I'm all for it. Recall how many problematic reports we heard about Brandon Rush and BMac before they came to Kansas and both proved to be great kids amongst the most loved Kansas players.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Is it typical for Coach Self to have players visit campus and meet with coaches against his will? Isn't it safe to say that in all such visits Coach Self wants them here? It wouldn't seem to be such an amazing observation that this is the case.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Now you disagree with your original point? You're arguing with yourself again?

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Well Jay....if you tend to believe a head coach at a major program, like Pitino, doesn't always know what's going on with their program....

You are of course correct. Nothing happens around Kansas Basketball without Bill Self being fully aware of it.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Awesome comment! I'm sure Pitino had no idea that enterprising assistant was spending his own money on hookers for recruits.....

Jonathan Andrews 5 years, 6 months ago

I am puzzled by the recruitment of Newman, because I'm really not sure how his me-first, -second and -third game fits in a Bill Self offense, let alone the overall system and culture. Also, referring to himself in the third person, and not taking responsibility for his own underwhelming, inefficient production concerns me. I'll leave it in Bill's hands.

Mick Allen 5 years, 6 months ago

Jonathan, your concern is understandable when one leaves a program he originally committed to. My concerns were mitigated to a certain extent when his father stated that Malik's dissatisfaction at MSU is partially attributable to his son's immaturity. If we get him I don't think we will have the overly involved father who thinks his son walks on water i.e. papas Frankamp and Padgett. He gets one do over and this is it. Adjust accordingly Malik. As hard as HCBS was after him initially, it is hard for me to believe he couldn't help us if he buys into the one for all, and all for one philosophy HCBS demands.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

I would give Padgett a bye on this one. He was recruited by Roy Williams where he was expected to be a front to the rim type player. He had several teams interested in him after Roy left but decided to stay and honor his commitment. He was not happy being a back to the rim post up player in Self's high low offense and decided to transfer to Louisville even though Roy Williams still wanted Padgett at North Carolina.

After all the injuries Padgett went through, I think he paid his dues.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Good insight, Mick. The bottom line is that Coach Self and his staff have always demonstrated their ability to weigh all the factors when recruiting for KU. Obviously, when recruiting at this high level, some mistakes will happen. However, the successes far outnumber the failures, just as they do at all of the other elite programs.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 6 months ago

Newman will pick Kansas. It's true the unknown lies in this next year's draft class and where the incoming guards land, but with Mason gone, Svi possibly gone and who knows with Graham, he'll find himself in a spot with some good playing time for sure on a national level. Plus there's really no "Josh Jackson" in 2017 either as far as guards go. It's a perfect time for him to move over

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Michael Porter and Kevin Knox both play a similar style as Josh Jackson.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 6 months ago

Right, but neither are guards. That's what I meant. There isn't a #1 guard or player at the guard position

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

What position do you think Josh Jackson will be playing next year? Self is going to continue with Mason and Graham on the court at the same time. Jackson will be the 3 or the wing or the SF (where he was originally designated).

Jackson, a 6-foot-7 small forward, is No. 3 in the ESPN 100 but was the only top-10 prospect still uncommitted entering the late signing period.

2016 small forward Josh Jackson is headed to play for Bill Self and Kansas.

Josh Jackson Detroit, MI (Justin-Siena) Small Forward, Shooting Guard

I'm not trying to split hairs here but the difference between a small forward or a shooting guard can be very blurry. I believe the two players that I listed initially have a similar game. That's it.

Certainly not trying to prove you wrong. Just a little bit of a different opinion.

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