Malik Newman was visited by Kansas coach Bill Self and Kentucky coach John Calipari
The nation’s top-ranked guard in 2015 hosted three in-home visits at the start of the fall recruiting period last week.
Callaway’s Malik Newman was visited by Kansas coach Bill Self and Kentucky coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne in separate visits last Tuesday. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried visited the five-star prospect on Wednesday.
Most of what’s talked about during these brief interactions is a lot of the same – what his role will be, what he can expect with playing time, how each coaching staff will help him achieve his goal of making it to the NBA, etc.
Below, Newman evaluates each of his visits and what stood out about the programs.
Note: UConn and Texas A&M were scheduled to see Newman on Wednesday but weren’t able to make it.
Calipari has landed some of the nation’s top talent since he arrived at Kentucky in 2009 and hopes to do the same with Newman.
His track record for recruiting five-star prospects stands on its own, and the type of players that Newman could play with in a year will develop his game even further.
“That’s the difference between going there and going to another school,” Newman said. “You would have more of the top-10 guys around you. I think less is more at Kentucky.”
With Newman’s goal of spending one year in college before entering the 2016 NBA Draft, Calipari demonstrated his proven ability to put players in the league in a short amount of time.
“He said his goal is to let us accomplish our dream and help me the best way he can,” the guard said.
While Newman hasn’t narrowed down his list yet, one factor that could help aid in that process is visiting a school for Midnight Madness.
One of his favorite artists potentially headlining UK’s Big Blue Madness piques his interest.
“(Calipari) said Drake might come this year,” Newman said. “That would be a really good event to go to. It really lets me know what they’re working with and that (Kentucky) has a lot of connections.”
The UK coach also has a two-day on-campus scouting combine for NBA executives to evaluate his team on Oct. 11-12. It’s a huge recruiting ploy for the Wildcats and would be even bigger if Newman visited during the event.
The Jayhawks don’t have any commitments in 2015 and hope Newman will be the first.
As a combo guard, a lot is expected from Newman at the high school level. Fact is, the senior doesn’t want to limit himself by having to chose one role.
Self’s selling point echoed that sentiment.
“He said that he will play me as a combo guard,” Newman said. “Sometimes there will be two shooting guards on the floor or two point guards on the court at the same time. I’ll never have to just play one position and I like that.”
An eye opener for Newman is how much success Self has had as recently as this year with putting players into the NBA. Former Jayhawks shooting guard Andrew Wiggins was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 Draft while center Joel Embiid went third.
“He thinks I’ll be able to make a big impact on the team and that will impact my spot for the draft,” he said.
Similar to his interest with Kentucky, Newman said he wants to schedule a visit to Lawrence this fall.
Newman’s goal in college is to win a National Championship.
Unlike the schools he visited with on Tuesday, N.C. State last won a NCAA title 14 years before Newman was born. The guard’s potential role in rebuilding the Wolfpack even further sparked his interest.
“The last three years they made the tournament and the last two years they went deep in it,” Newman said. “A few years ago no one knew N.C. State. I really like those guys and they do a good job developing players and moving them to the next level.”
Gottfried has connections to recruiting in this area, specifically when he landed Murrah’s Mo Williams in the early 2000s.
Newman played for Williams’ AAU team MWA Elite this summer. The guard can see himself fitting into a similar role that Williams played under Gottfried at Alabama, as he could be a big part of the rebuilding process at N.C. State.
“He kind of put me in a Mo Williams mode,” Newman said. “He basically said a player like me can put them over the hump. He thinks I can push the guys there over the hump with my winning attitude and take them to the next level.”