The San Antonio Spurs have officially clinched their 21st consecutive postseason berth and while the team is focusing on that the fans can get ready for NBA Draft season. That brings us to this week’s prospect in Kansas guard Malik Newman. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard recently announced his intention to enter the draft and he will do so after signing with an agent.
The former five-star recruit, Mississippi State Bulldog, and Kansas Jayhawk saved his best games for last as he tore up the NCAA Tournament. He scored 108 points in the five tourney games he played and was key in the Elite Eight game against Duke where he exploded for 32 points and willed his team to an overtime win.
Here are some of his stats:
- 14.2 PPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 5.0 RPG
- 46.3 FG%, 41.5 3P%, 83.5 FT%
- Per-40 stats:
- 17.9 PPG, 2.7 APG, 6.4 RPG
- Per-40 stats:
- 120.2 ORtg, 103.3 DRtg
Newman is a projected second-rounder and would be a nice steal for the Spurs wherever that pick lands for them. As you can see from his numbers, he’s a good shooter and can space the floor as well as get his own shot when needed. He could basically be a taller Patty Mills that can defend a lot of guards. He’s not a true point guard but could be a good scoring one.
He’s an incredible athlete and after not quite getting to one-and-done status at Mississippi State, he learned and improved quite a bit under Kansas coach Bill Self. However, Self couldn’t quite hammer into him a better sense of shot selection. He tends to take a lot of bad shots despite having good shooters around him and other players who can create their own shot as well. That, of course, can be fixed, but it is a bit concerning.
If Newman wants to get more minutes at point guard, he will have to work on his handles as well as his passing ability. He’ll also have to work a little harder on the defensive end as that was not exactly a strong suit for him throughout his lone season in Lawrence.