The Mississippi State Bulldogs will be without many of their longtime starters heading into the 2016-17 season, and things may have become a bit more difficult, as former five-star shooting guard Malik Newman has asked for his release and will transfer from Mississippi State.
Newman, who had declared for the 2016 NBA Draft without an agent, averaged 27.7 minutes per game for the Bulldogs last season along with 11.3 points per game. He was a talented scorer as a freshmen and whatever team he decides to transfer to will be getting a proven scorer who will improve season after season.
Head coach Ben Howland has been an exceptional recruiter in his short time with the Bulldogs and has several highly-touted recruits on the way in who should be able to make up for Newman’s loss, but this sets the team back another year before they should be able to compete for a place in the NCAA tournament. Newman’s veteran presence along with his talent would have been able to do wonders for a team that will be notably young in 2016-17, and this team will be disappointed not to have him on the roster, despite likely knowing he was gone the moment he declared for the NBA Draft.
Remember, the Bulldogs have won the most SEC titles and tournaments since 2002 outside of Kentucky and Florida. This is a team on the rise in the SEC, and it is just a matter of time before they make a legitimate push towards success. Keep an eye on Howland and Mississippi State in the future.