LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a solid postseason where he earned two most outstanding player honors and averaged over 22 points, Kansas redshirt sophomore guard Malik Newman has decided to turn professional and leave the KU program, Newman announced Wednesday.
“Malik has done everything that we had agreed to,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “He came to Kansas and knew after a redshirt year he would hopefully put himself into a position to be a professional basketball player after one year competing. He had a terrific season this year and was one of the best players in the NCAA tournament. I think this is good timing for Malik. We wish nothing but the best for him and appreciate all his efforts. We all know his best basketball is still ahead of him.”
“First off I want to thank God for the opportunity,” Newman said. “I want to thank Coach Self and the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to come to Kansas. I definitely want to thank my teammates. The journey with these guys has been nothing short of amazing. My two years here was everything that I asked for. My redshirt year, I had a chance to develop and Coach Self took me under his wing and really prepared me. This year I had a chance to come out and play and this was the plan, to try to put myself in position to chase my dream. I sat down and talked with Coach Self and my family and this is the best time to do it. With that being said, I’ll forego my junior year at Kansas and I will put my name in the NBA Draft and plan on signing with an agent.”
“I cannot thank the Kansas fans enough,” Newman added. “They have been there since day one and have supported me throughout my two years at Kansas. I’ll always be a Jayhawk and this will always be home for me.”
Newman transferred to Kansas following the 2015-16 season at Mississippi State and sat out 2016-17 due to NCAA rules. The Jackson, Mississippi, guard started 33 of 39 games this last year and was the 2018 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, an all-conference honorable mention selection and member of the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. He averaged 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game and was twice named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. Newman’s 14.2 scoring average was 13th in the Big 12 and his 2.2 3-pointers made per game, 85 total, ranked seventh.
Newman was the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player where he averaged 24.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in leading Kansas to the tourney title, March 8-10. He made 15 3-pointers in the three victories and scored 30 points against Oklahoma State in the event’s quarterfinals.
Like the Big 12 Tournament, Newman led Kansas in the NCAA Tournament where he averaged 21.6 points. He also pulled down 6.2 rebounds in KU’s five NCAA tourney contests and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Midwest Region. Included was a career-high 32-point effort in the 85-81 overtime win against Duke in the Elite Eight, advancing Kansas to its 15th Final Four.
Newman was a 2015 McDonald’s All-American who averaged 11.3 points his freshman year at Mississippi State before coming to Kansas.