Mississippi State announced Saturday that the school has fired head coach Rick Ray after three seasons.
Five-star combo guard Malik Newman lists Mississippi State as one of his six finalists, along with Kentucky, Kansas, Ole Miss, Louisiana State and N.C. State. Newman’s father, Horatio Webster, was a standout player for the Bulldogs.
Newman has not yet taken any official visits in his recruitment, but he has been to Mississippi State multiple times for unofficial visits.
Ray was 37-60 in three seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.
UK assistant coach Kenny Payne is from Mississippi and interviewed for the Mississippi State head coaching job in 2012, when Ray was hired. Payne has been a major part of UK’s recruitment of Newman.
There is no timetable for Newman’s announcement. He has said that he will not make a college decision before April 1, the date of the McDonald’s All-American Game.