GPTV: 1-on-1 With Freshman Malik Newman

GPTV: Mississippi State men's basketball freshman Malik Newman talks one-on-one with Gene's Page about his first few weeks at Mississippi State.


How long have you been here this summer?
"Six or seven weeks."

What has it been like?
"It has been great. We have been bonding as a team. I think we have bonded real fast, the three freshmen that have come in. We are trying to figure each other out right now and I think we are doing a good job of that."

You have always been a hard worker. When I talked to Mississippi State's Basketball Director of Performance David Deets he told me the workouts that he does are new to you. What has the adjustment been like for you?
"I think it is an adjustment for everyone. He is one of those coaches who expects a lot from us and he gives us a lot. We all just came in and put our heads together and decided that we are going to work hard so that we can have a great year this year. That is where our hard work comes from."

What has been the toughest adjustment for you in the weight room compared to what you went through in high school?
"Really, everything. Everything is new, everything is more explosive. Weights get heavier, things like that. There are more reps, the reps are quicker. Really, I had to adjust to everything in the weight room."

I've mentioned this to you before. You seem to work so hard that you can't gain weight and may even lose weight. When I did my interview with Coach David Deets and I started to mention a player who may work too hard he smiled because he knew exactly who I was about to talk about, you. They have had to scale you back in regard to working too hard. What kind of adjustment has that been for you?
"It is not a big adjustment because when they make me scale back I know it is for the benefit of me. What I do is take that time to go get treatment, get in the ice tub, things like that. Right now, it is more about taking care of my body so that I am healthy for the season. Then, when the season comes I will be ready and prepared."

You have always been THE guy in high school. Now, you are another one of the freshmen, a highly thought of freshman but still a freshman. What has that been like for you blending in with the others, guys like Chicken (Craig Sword)? Chicken has been in the SEC for three years.
"It has been great. I have guys like Chicken, I.J. (Ready), Gavin (Ware), Travis (Daniels), Fred Thomas. So, I have all of those other guys who have been here and they are teaching me the way right now. They are showing me how things have to be done, that I have to work hard each and every day. I'm just thankful to have those guys because they push me each and every day and help me to get better."

You know what makes a great team, you know talent, you've played for great coaches. What are your thoughts about the potential of this year's team?
"I think that we are going to make a lot of noise. All of the guys are excited about this year. I can see the level rising each and every week. I think it is going to be a great season. Guys are getting better, guys are getting stronger. We have a great coach in Coach (Ben) Howland). And we have a great (coaching) staff. Guys are excited to be in the weight room. And when guys are excited to be in the weight room, then you know they are excited to be on the court."

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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