Scout Experts Discuss Newman's Impact On MSU

Scout's national basketball recruiting experts give their opinions about Malik Newman, the player, and the impact that he can have at Mississippi State during his career. They also give their opinions about how significant it is for new Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland and his program to land one of the elite players in the entire nation.


Evan Daniels, Scout Recruiting Director

Malik Newman is one of the best pure scorers in the 2015 class. At 6-3 he's an electric scorer that does a tremendous job of creating space on his jump shots. He's a tough shot taker sometimes but he's a tough maker as well. He's a good, not great, athlete, but does a good job adjusting his shots at the rim. He's also very comfortable pulling up for mid-range jumpers and creating shot opportunities off the bounce.

What a way for Ben Howland to start things off at Mississippi State! I don't think it can be stated how big of a deal this. Howland and MSU immediately have a player with star power and one of the elite perimeter scorers in the country.

Brian Snow, National Recruiting Analyst

Malik Newman is just a high level scorer. He can masquerade as a point guard when needed, but he is at his best when he is scoring and looking to create for himself. He is a bit of a volume shooter, but he does such a good job creating space for himself that he is able to get open no matter who is guarding him. Newman immediately gives the Bulldogs one of the best players in the entire country, and someone who is capable of taking over a game.

I mean this is significant in the sense that it is keeping a legacy recruit who is an excellent player. In terms of long standing impact, I don't think it is huge. Because of the type player that he is, and the fact that many are going to perceive him to be a one and done, it isn't like players are going to come to Mississippi State because of Malik Newman. That said he should mean wins for the Bulldogs, and winning is always the best thing for recruiting.

Rob Harrington, National Recruiting Analyst

Newman is the definition of a plug-and-play scorer. We spend a great deal of our time evaluating prospects on their long-term potential, but Newman's *short-term* potential actually may be best in the class. He projects as a dynamic freshman scorer who has all the tools to post big numbers immediately out of the gate. He benefits from a lean, strong frame and unwavering confidence - he won't fear lack of success or get ground down mentally by the acclimation process. To the extent that you have seen him drop a little in the rankings, that's based on the fact that some of the taller, rangier guys may have more room to improve over the next 5-7 years. But again, on day one, Newman is ahead of the game and should be fantastic.

When Howland took the job at MSU, of course everyone immediately wondered how he'd recruit. Newman wasn't even a fair litmus test, given how late Howland arrived into the recruitment. That said, getting him at this time is a remarkable achievement and predicts a great deal of success for Howland on the recruiting trail at MSU. Within the old SEC West footprint, there's a credibility issue in the minds of many players toward the high-major programs in the area. Thus, Howland's arrival gives the school a guy everyone knows can coach, and if he's going to recruit like this then the turnaround could be swift and dramatic.

Josh Gershon, Recruiting Analyst

Landing one of high school basketball's top scorers, regardless of class, in Malik Newman is a huge deal for Mississippi State. Newman's combination of shot making ability, ball skills, toughness, fearlessness and athleticism will make him a lethal scorer throughout his career at Mississippi State.

This is a statement commitment for Ben Howland. He's proven himself as an elite coach and has consistently maximized the talent that he's been given. The combination of Howland as a coach and high level talent is a proven winner and Newman's confidence in Howland will only help draw more talented recruits in the future.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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