Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Horatio Webster confirms that Malik Newman has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and is returning to MSU

Gene's Page did an exclusive interview today with Horatio Webster about his son Malik Newman deciding to withdraw from the NBA Draft and returning to Mississippi State next season.

Has Malik withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft?
"He has. The papers are on their way now."

The last time we talked we talked about Malik heading to the NBA Combine. What happened during the NBA Combine and afterwards that led to his decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft?
"I don't think he played well enough to move up (to first round in the NBA Draft). I think it was the same thing that it was at Mississippi State - he was just ok. He wasn't bad or he wasn't great, he was just ok. Everybody was saying that he was a second round pick. And the uncertainly of being in the second round and nobody giving us a definite answer of where he would land and who he would land with, as a family I don't think you take that chance. He has three years (of college)."

At one time you said he wouldn't do any private workouts after the combine. Did he wind up doing some private workouts?
"He did and all the feedback was great. Even at the combine it wasn't the workout part or his skill. All of that was there. I just don't think he played well enough five on five at the combine. It was almost reminiscent of Mississippi State. He showed flashes of being really, really good and at other times he sat in the corner."

What was the feedback from the private workouts?
"The workouts that he did, all the feedback was that he was absolutely great."

How many private workouts did he do? And who were they with?
"He did three. The (Chicago) Bulls, Milwaukee and New Jersey."

Did those three teams make a recommendation about what he should do?
"No, they didn't. But all the rumors that I was hearing was the second round and you just don't take a chance on that."

There have been rumors that Malik might transfer from Mississippi State. But as far as you are concerned if he decided to take his name out of the draft then he was returning to Mississippi State. Am I correct in saying that?
"That is correct. He has a scholarship with Mississippi State. It is understood that if he didn't go through the NBA Draft then he is back in Bulldog Country. I haven't talked to another school and I haven't set up a visit with another school. I don't know where he could go unless you have a place for him (laugh)."

Have you talked to Coach Howland since Malik has withdrawn from the draft?
"No, I plan on talking to Coach Howland. I don't know if it will be today. But I definitely will talk to him."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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