After much speculation, it looks like Malik Newman will not pursue a chance to be drafted this year. The 6'3" point guard has decided to return to college for at least one more year, according to sources.
Confirmed: Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA Draft and return for his sophomore year.— Robbie Faulk (@robbiefaulk247) May 25, 2016
Just talked with Newman's father, he said they just weren't comfortable with his position in the second round.— Michael Bonner (@MikeBBonner) May 25, 2016
And then things started to get a little weird.
Malik Newman will withdraw from NBA Draft, but source told ESPN he may explore other opportunities besides returning to Miss State.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 25, 2016
Potentially transferring. https://t.co/zAfI82RgXH— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 25, 2016
Like JUCO, I’m told. Doesn’t want to sit a year. https://t.co/e80Rp7LsxQ— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) May 25, 2016
Malik Newman’s father, Horatio Webster, declined to comment to ESPN — but multiple sources said Newman strongly considering transferring.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 25, 2016
And then of course a conflicting report because what is sports without conflicting reports
"As far as I know, he's going back to Mississippi State," Horatio Webster on Malik Newman. Story coming.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 25, 2016
Per Horatio Webster who just talked to me, "Malik is withdrawing his name from the draft tomorrow and is coming back to Mississippi State."— Gene Swindoll (@GeneSwindoll) May 25, 2016
There was some speculation that Newman wasn't content with the offense that Howland runs, and his up and down year might reflect that. Plus, the way that Howland crowded the backcourt last year led to some awkward lineups and situations where IJ Ready and Malik were both on the court and both attempting to be a point guard. While that likely wouldn't be the situation this year, it's possible that Newman would prefer to avoid all of that together and play elsewhere.
Of course, with the influx of talent coming in, it'd be hard for Malik to not want to come to Starkville if he wants to win at a high level. If he were to indeed return to State, he could be a leader of a very talented team and drive this team to be a force in a conference that isn't known for basketball.
HUGE for Mississippi State. Dawgs should be a force next year. https://t.co/EO61PEXda3— Charlie Burris (@Charlie_Burris) May 25, 2016
This story looks like it'll get weird. We'll update you as we can.