Malik Newman Will Announce His College Choice On Friday. Kentucky, Mississippi St. Favorites


The dominoes are continuing to fall. Malik Newman has already said that he won’t sign a National Letter of Intent, but he is going to choose between Kentucky, Mississippi State, Kansas, Ole Miss, LSU and North Carolina St. Those are all still listed as his finalists, and as far as I know, that hasn’t changed.

I have no idea who he will pick, but the street right now seems to think Ben Howland’s hiring at Mississippi State had made them the favorite. 247 Sorts has Kentucky at 45% to obtain his services with MSU close behind at 36%. Ken Pomeroy’s algorithm ($) says Kentucky is 74% to win his services (note that this hasn’t been updated for a few days). Take that all for what it’s worth, which is not too much.

UK could surely use another guard the quality of Newman, and a 3-guard starting lineup would not be out of the question for UK, especially if they don’t get another big man. I like Newman’s athleticism and his skill, and while he does bring some shooting, he tends to be streaky from long range — he either makes them all and drops 30 on you, or he misses most of them and goes 1-8. You can never really tell.

Newman’s a menace in transition and off the bounce, and he has blow-by ability with his first step. He can play both with and off the ball, and that versatility is extremely useful.

Final thought — UK really hasn’t had a truly guard-heavy team in the Calipari era. It would be really interesting to see what one would look like.