In this new era of basketball, it’s normal to see 5-star prospects come out of high school and go one-and-done. What isn’t so common is to see a 5-start recruit forgo the NBA and transfer. Malik Newman, the tenth-best recruit in the class of 2015 according to ESPN, is going the latter route and is seeking to transfer from Mississippi State.
The 2015 class was loaded with talent and has its top-7 guys going one-and-done. Newman initially declared for the draft but didn’t hire an agent, allowing him to withdraw if he didn’t like his feedback. He wound up doing so. On May 25, after many teams felt he was a second round pick, Newman withdrew his name and started looking at other schools to play at.
Horatio Webster, Newman’s father, cited a lack of trust between his son and head coach Ben Howland as a reason for the transfer. “I think it was a trust issue,” he told The Clarion-Ledger. “But he wasn’t the coach for Malik. I don’t think Ben trusted Malik so I think the feeling was mutual. I don’t think they trusted each other.”
With Horatio being an alumni of MSU, it helped tip the scale for Newman to go there; growing up in Jackson, MS, gave the Bulldogs a bit of a hometown discount. He battled injuries all season and averaged 11.3 points on 39% shooting through 29 games.
MSU has already been flooded with requests to speak to Malik since the announcement of his transfer. The university told The Clarion-Ledger that a dozen schools have asked for permission to talk to Newman: Vanderbilt, Kansas, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Arizona, North Carolina State, Arizona State, Miami, TCU, Iowa State, and Oregon.
Butler, Western Kentucky, Colorado State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Cal Sate Northbridge have also contacted the school.
As per NCAA regulations, Malik Newman is going to have to sit out this upcoming college basketball season.