247Sports national analyst Jerry Meyer recently changed his “Crystal Ball” prediction on Malik Newman to Mississippi State, going with the home-state school over some of the national powers that have been pursuing him.
On Tuesday, Meyer explained his prediction during an interview with Bulldog Sports Radio.
“The reasoning here is that he wants to stay close to home,” Meyer told the Mississippi State network. “His father is close to the program. … He’s going to be a one-and-done. He’s not going to be in school long. And it’s much easier to control a high-profile player’s situation if you do stay closer to home.”
Newman’s father is Horatio Webster, a former Mississippi State basketball standout.
Newman attended the Final Four in April and was there to see Kentucky defeat Wisconsin. He told the Herald-Leader last week that he was not pulling for either team, despite the fact that UK has been recruiting him hard for more than a year. He added that he was rooting for Mississippi State throughout the season.
Kentucky, Kansas and UConn have been mentioned recently as the favorites in his recruitment. (UK is the current leader on his Crystal Ball page).
Meyer also said he feels there is “not a lot of credence to the talk of the package deal with (Newman) and Diamond Stone,” another five-star prospect in the class of 2015 who is being recruited by UK.
Stone said last week that the chances of the package deal happening are 50/50. He will announce his college decision in November, while Newman plans to wait until the spring.
Listen to Meyer’s full interview with Bulldog Sports Radio for much more on Newman, Stone and the current status of Mississippi State basketball. (The Newman talk begins around the 2:00 mark, and it’s worth a listen).