It seems the tide has turned and a whole lot of people are predicting that Malik Newman will choose to play at Mississippi State. And by "a whole lot of people" I mean every single prediction that has been made in the last two weeks has Newman choosing State. Scout.com, 247 Sports, and basketball analysts nationwide are saying he is coming to Starkville:
NC State's out of the Malik Newman sweepstakes, Mississippi State the likely landing spot— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) April 22, 2015
Whispers at EYBL Hampton were saying Malik Newman to Mississippi State. Looks like it's really catching some steam now.— ThePrepInsiders.com (@ThePrepInsiders) April 21, 2015
Jerry Meyer of 247 went on Jon Wiener's radio show yesterday and said he believes that not only is Malik Newman headed to State but 3-star juco power forward Ray Kasongo is as well:
In addition to these predictions, Newman's father, Horatio Webster, is a former Mississippi State basketball player. And many think the fact that Newman decided to have his announcement live streamed by Jackson, MS-based newspaper The Clarion Ledger is an indication that he will stay in Mississippi.
MSU head coach Ben Howland reportedly made a home visit to the Newman family in the last few weeks that went very well. And considering Howland's history of coaching up pros like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, why would Newman not want to be a Bulldog?
It may all be coming together for MSU to land a basketball prospect that could bring a dying program back to life literally overnight.
Newman's commitment will be gargantuan after Rick Ray went 37-60 over his three years with the Bulldogs. MSU will be a top 5 team in the SEC in 2015 at the very least, likely top 3. The Bulldogs will be a feared opponent for other teams for the first time since Rick Stansbury walked the sidelines. The Hump will regain life and will once again be one of the toughest places in America to play college basketball. He will be a program changer.
MSU will improve next year on the hiring of Ben Howland alone but a commitment from a recruit like Malik Newman will skyrocket the team from the SEC cellar into being a true contender. So, here's hoping all of these predictions are correct and the Bulldogs will be back to form much sooner than expected.
Malik Newman will make his announcement at 12 PM CST on Friday. It will be live streamed on clarionledger.com.