Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Guard Malik Newman leaving MSU

Mississippi State's Malik Newman chews on his mouthpiece during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Columbia, Mo.

Mississippi State's Malik Newman chews on his mouthpiece during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Columbia, Mo.


Malik Newman —’s No. 8-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2015 who ultimately chose his dad’s alma mater, Mississippi State, over Kansas University and Kentucky — on Monday announced plans to transfer after one season at the SEC school.

The 6-foot-3 combo guard has not yet revealed a list of possible destinations, though the Clarion-Ledger newspaper reports, “Newman will take the summer to decide where he’ll play next. He hasn’t talked to any schools yet. The family hasn’t placed a deadline on when a decision could be made.”

Newman’s dad, Horatio Webster, told the paper: “We haven’t even gotten to that point. We’re just at the point that he won’t be going back to Mississippi State.”

Newman declared for the NBA Draft after a freshman season in which he averaged 11.3 points a game off 39.1 percent shooting (37.9 percent from three, 68.7 from the line) for a 14-17 MSU team. He did not sign with an agent and withdrew from the draft last week after being told he was at best a late-first-round pick.

“He was just never in a happy place,” Webster told the Clarion-Ledger. “People were proud he was going to Mississippi State. People knew Malik had the Magic Johnson smile and he was happy and basketball was his life. I think in a sense some of that was taken away. I’m not saying that Ben (Howland, coach) took it away. But I think some of it was taken away due to injuries, due to style of play, due to his immaturity. Everybody played a part in it.”

Newman showed signs of greatness on various occasions, scoring 25 points off 7-of-10 three-point shooting against Mississippi. Newman played in Kansas City last season, scoring 18 points in a 71-67 loss at UMKC.

“I really hope his time at Mississippi State is going to help him moving forward in terms of the areas that’s he’s going to get better at to really help him reach his full potential as a player,” Howland told The Clarion-Ledger. “Bottom line is Malik and his dad feel like it’s better for him if they come back to school and attend elsewhere.”

Newman is one of three former high school standouts looking for a new home. Derryck Thornton, a 6-2 point guard who left Duke after one season, has visited KU, Miami, Washington and USC. Marcus Lee, a 6-9 former Kentucky player, is to visit California today and likely to commit, reports. All has been quiet regarding high school senior forward Jarrett Allen, who has yet to announce for KU, Texas or Houston.

NBA workouts: Former KU wing Brannen Greene, who turned pro after three seasons at KU, was one of six players to work out for the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. The others: Texas’ Isaiah Taylor, Boise State’s James Webb, LSU’s Tim Quarterman , Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy and Texas A&M;’s Danuel House. Sixers’ center Joel Embiid, a teammate of Greene’s at KU, watched the workout. Comcast Sports Net reports the 6-7 Greene will work out for the Toronto Raptors today and later the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks.

Former KU forward Perry Ellis was one of 12 to work out for the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Others included Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis and Alex Poythress, Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones and Thon Maker, who did not attend college.


Mike Riches 5 years, 6 months ago

Malik would be a very nice addition to our 17/18 roster, not to mention the positive impact he could have on other players like Josh Jackson in practice this coming year. Kansas would be a nice change of pace for him as well, it would seem. Let's get this done! Rock chalk!

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

"Newman showed signs of greatness on various occasions, scoring 25 points off 7-of-10 three-point shooting against Mississippi State."

That's pretty impressive, that he could do that against his own team.

Freedman Moor 5 years, 6 months ago

Mississippi (Ole Miss), not Mississippi State

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

They corrected their mistake. It was originally listed as Mississippi State.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years, 6 months ago

I like a guard that makes his own decisions, particularly one that stays in school to learn basketball better when a first round pick. It shows he is smart as well as a good player. He would be a good addition to our team and learn a lot from our current guards.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Than Newman isn't for you. He declared for the draft without an agent, saw he wasn't going to be drafted in either round and then decided to transfer from Mississippi State.

He was once considered to be a sure OAD but averaged only 10 points and 2 assists per game. He waited until late spring before deciding on Mississippi State and went there because of his relationship with Ben Howland and Mississippi State was his father's alma mater.

Now it looks as if he wants to renew the entire recruiting process.

"Newman's recruitment was a long, drawn-out process that lasted for more than two years. The five-star guard held offers from dozens of schools; the final six included Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, North Carolina State and Ole Miss.

After weeks of deliberating, the 6-foot-4 guard decided to stay home"

Decision making is not one of his better qualities. I don't think both Thornton and Newman will pick Kansas so if I had my pick, Thornton hands-down.

Steve Macy 5 years, 6 months ago

Combo guard, meet Coach Self, you two will be very happy together.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

Will this kid even play at his new school? Or will he just go to school on scholarship and then go to the NBA after sitting out his transfer season. Certainly coaches can't make a student stay longer than they want to, but the coaches will certainly be trying to gauge his sincerity as when he tells them that he is going to stay and play for his RS Sophomore season.

It's not too hard to fathom a player turning down a chance to be a late 1st rd pick to come back to school and improve into a lottery pick, but it is hard to imagine a player turning down a late 1st rd pick to transfer and sit out a year and delay his NBA dreams for 2 years in the process.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

It's surprising to see players like him and the Kentucky player Marcus Lee, and the Duke PG transferring when they were thought to be potential one-and-done college players.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Lee was the 89th rated recruit out of high school. Now after three years at Kentucky I don't see anything that would make me believe that he could help make Kansas a better team. Maybe a tackling dummy for the football team...

Jonathan Briles 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't think there is any chance of him leaving after his transfer year. He wants to raise his draft stock and that won't happen on the bench. I think he understands his ceiling is higher if he goes to a talented roster and is willing to wait and build himself into a lottery pick.

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 6 months ago

I believe that I saw something that said, if you transfer you could not enter the NBA draft the following year. I don't have a source, but it came up when the Kentucky person decided to transfer. Basically, once you go down that path, you are out two years. Or go to Europe.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Yesterday, I was thinking the same thing but I have to give credit to Dirk Medema for the following comment.

"Gotta play for at least one year to be productive, or there's little chance of being drafted."

You would get one year for this kid in a spot we are fairly loaded while losing a scholarship for two years. We just signed Evan Maxwell. I still say pass on both players.

Robert Brock 5 years, 6 months ago

I have watched the kid the last three years and I have mixed feelings about his mind-set and his capabilities. Basically, I think he could be a really effective college player if he was not the primary lead guard. He has a history of making the game all about him; the few times that he has been a true handler-dribbler-passer (like playing on the USA team) he looks great. When he reverts to constantly attacking by himself, he starts getting into trouble.

He needs to mature and make better decisions. Maybe this is the first step - good luck to him.

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 6 months ago

I haven't seen him play, but going off of your assessment, perhaps he would be better suited to playing on a team with more talent than on a team where he is expected to be the alpha dog. At KU, he would not have those types of expectations placed on him and could be the team player you say he thrives as.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Looking at his overall stats at Mississippi State, they are very average with 11 ppg, He averages close to 2 assists and 2 turnovers per game, shoots just under 40% total and 3 rebounds in about 28 min...

I think Graham will be back next year but either way, we will need to add a couple of guards. I would rather see Thornton and a couple of freshmen recruits who aren't looking for the most direct route to the NBA.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

Those don't seem like particularly terrible stats for a freshman on an average team. Given that Self would have two years to work with him, he could easily improve those numbers significantly.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Agree Len. I did say 'very average' and the SEC was pretty weak last year. I also agree that Self could do wonders for this kid in two years but I don't think Self will get both Thornton and Newman and given the choice,, I prefer Thornton. Newman wants to get to the NBA as fast as possible while I think Thornton would stick around a couple of years. It's all conjecture. I don't think our opinions are that far apart.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Can't imagine him transferring, sitting for a year, and then reentering the NBA draft. What makes us think that his stock will rise by sitting out a year?

My only concern is his coachability. However, Coach Self recruited him pretty hard before, so apparently he is satisfied. That's good enough for me.

Humpy Helsel 5 years, 6 months ago

I think it is a good sign his dad noted "his immaturity." From "all about me" in high school to D-1 college basketball can have a way of bringing about maturity. Interesting to see if Kansas picks up any of these transfers.

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