Remember Malik Newman?
The former 2015 five-star guard was once viewed as a strong Kentucky lean during his recruitment, but the Jackson (MS) native ended up staying home to play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Unfortunately for Newman, he underestimated new Bulldogs coach Ben Howland's ability to hamstring even the best of players he's had (he managed to keep Russell Westbrook at UCLA for 2 years as the All-NBA guard averaged a mere 8.3 ppg under Howland).
So forgive Newman for not exactly having a great first year at MSU, which turns out will be the only year he's there. Howland announced Monday that Newman is transferring after one year. In his lone season with the Bulldogs, Newman averaged 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists. His .379 shooting percentage from three-point range was ninth amongst all SEC players.
Not too shabby for a first-year player, but this came while Newman played off the ball after he believed Howland would let him be a point guard. That's where Newman believes he's at his best, and a big reason why he's leaving was being forced to play off the ball so much.
Now, where he ends up next could go a lot of different ways. Newman's father, Horatio Webster, told ESPN that Newman does not yet have a future destination, but did say that his son will likely narrow down his list in the next week.
If Newman tries to transfer to another D-I program this year, he'll have to sit out one year before being eligible to play in 2017-18. It's also hard to see MSU allowing Newman to transfer to another SEC school, which is typically how SEC schools
screw kids conduct business, so don't expect Kentucky to be an option this year.
However, if Newman opts instead to go the junior college route, then playing there and considering UK for the 2017 season seems plausible, except that it sounds like Newman isn't even eligible to go the JUCO route because he declared for the NBA draft, and though he withdrew from it, the NJCAA haven't changed the NBA rule for JUCO.
Just to put any Malik Newman to JUCO rumors to rest, he would have to go Cali JC w/ no scholarships since the NJCAA rules him ineligible— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 25, 2016
So more than likely, Newman will either play at a college outside the SEC this year, or go overseas and spend a year or two playing ball while earning a paycheck, which had been his plan all along when he entered college.
In other words, Newman even being on UK's radar seems like a stretch, let alone a realistic option.