Kansas Basketball: What Malik Newman’s decision means for Jayhawks

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 30: Larry Brown speaks to Malik Newman
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 30: Larry Brown speaks to Malik Newman /

Players leaving early is nothing new to Kansas Basketball. Jayhawks guard Malik Newman announced he was leaving on Wednesday. So what now?

Despite my heartfelt advice, Malik Newman is not only declaring for the NBA draft but he is also planning to hire an agent. The latter ending his tenure at Kansas. The move by Newman means that Kansas Basketball has lost three possible NBA guards from this past Final Four team. And of course I am aware he didn’t care what my advice was.

Newman’s exit, as well as Senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk leaves the Jayhawks without three of starting five from this past season. Not only that, but they all play the guard position as well.

As of right now, the Jayhawks are returning both Lagerald Vick and Marcus Garrett next season. They also get to finally utilize their massive transfer group, which includes Charlie Moore and sparsely used Sam Cunliffe. Moore would be the clear choice to run the point as of now.

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What happened to that shortage of guards? Incoming freshmen Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson both play guard as well, Dotson being a pure point guard. Then there is unsigned recruit Romeo Langford, with Bill Self now camping outside his home playing the chants at Allen Field House on repeat.

If Kansas lands Langford, there could be some dominoes to fall afterward. The Jayhawks will be so deep next season, that transfers out of Kansas are almost a given. I hate to speculate too much on who, but Garrett, Cunliffe, or even Lightfoot may feel that playing time will be hard to find. That saying, let’s hope room is made somehow.

Newman’s Decision

Very rarely do I think it is a good idea for underclassmen to leave early. Usually, you never hear from them again. Most of the time you don’t hear from them for a couple of years. Seldom do these kids work out immediately, and rarely do they become superstars.

The money is nice however, and I wouldn’t listen to a wiser self if millions were flashed in front of me. The theory of Newman coming back might hurt his draft stock is a bogus one, unless you are suggesting injury. More experience never hurt anyone. Besides, it isn’t as if Kansas is playing UMBC on a regular basis, they are playing top-notch opponents. Lots of exposure for these young guys at Kansas.

The decision was made however, so I will root for him to go to a team that can easily be rooted for. His name is absent from most draft boards across the NBA, but he will have plenty of work days and opportunities to move into a quality draft position.

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I just hate rooting for a man like Newman to hopefully make it. I would much rather be rooting for him to go to a decent situation.