Saturday’s performance was what many Mississippi State fans expected from freshman Malik Newman when he committed to play in Starkville, Miss.
The top-10 recruit finally lived up to the lofty expectations during Mississippi State’s 83-77 first conference victory over short-handed in-state rival Ole Miss.
Newman was averaging just 12.6 points entering Saturday’s contest at The Hump, but achieved a career-high 25 points and his second 20-point game of the season thanks to some incredible 3-point shooting. Newman sank seven of his 10 3-point attempts in by far his best performance of the season.
“Malik Newman was fantastic,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said, according to Bulldog Sports Radio. “He absolutely took the game over.”
Newman’s modest numbers thus far during his freshman season haven’t been gaudy, but Howland believes Newman has been playing well and used a stronger mindset on Saturday.
“I think Malik’s been very solid all year,” Howland said, according to Bulldog Sports Radio. “He was being aggressive today, let it come to him.”
Saturday’s performance proved that Newman has the potential to go to the NBA after this season. Howland urged anybody who thought Newman didn’t have NBA talent to watch Saturday’s stat sheet stuffing performance.
“Newman is absolutely a pro,” Howland said, according to Bulldog Sports Radio. “If there was any question about that, watch the game today.”
— HailStatePics (@HailStatePics) January 23, 2016