Kansas guard Malik Newman will enter the 2018 NBA Draft and plans to hire an agent, forgoing his final two years of eligibility, according to a release from the university.
Newman was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Mississippi State and turned in a clutch performance against Duke in the Elite Eight, scoring 32 points and sending the Jayhawks to the Final Four in an overtime thriller. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Region in the NCAA Tournament.
“Malik has done everything that we had agreed to,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in the release. “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.”
“My redshirt year, I had a chance to develop and Coach Self took me under his wing and really prepared me,” Newman said. “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.”
Newman started 33 out of 39 games in his sophomore year, averaging 14.2 points per game and shooting 39.9 percent from the three-point line. Once the postseason started, he caught fire, scoring 30 points against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament opener and posting 28 against Seton Hall in the NCAA Tournament.
His departure leaves the Jayhawks with three big holes to fill in the backcourt, as fellow guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk were seniors in 2018. Kansas does bring in two 5-star guards in the Class of 2018 in Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes.