Another top college basketball recruit is off the board.
Malik Newman, a top-10 recruit in the 2015 class and a long-time Kansas target, picked Mississippi State on Friday in a private ceremony in his hometown of Jackson, Miss.
Newman, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, had a final list of schools that also included Kansas, Kentucky and Mississippi. He chose to stay home and play for first-year coach Ben Howland. Newman’s father, Horatio Webster, also attended Mississippi State.
From a Kansas perspective, the decision was not a major surprise. The Jayhawks’ staff, including assistant coach Jerrance Howard, spent years building a relationship with Newman. But in recent weeks, all signs pointed to Newman staying closer to home. In addition, the Jayhawks will return a number of contributors in the backcourt, including starters Frank Mason and Wayne Selden and reserve point guard Devonte’ Graham.
Still, Newman is the latest top recruiting target to go elsewhere.
Kansas has one player signed in its 2015 class — Cleveland power forward Carlton Bragg — and three open scholarships. Its list of top targets is thinning. The Jayhawks are still pursuing big man Cheick Diallo, a Mali native who attended high school in Long Island, N.Y. They are also still recruiting swingmen Brandon Ingram of Kinston, N.C., and Jaylen Brown of Marietta, Ga.
Ingram is set to unveil his college choice on Monday, while Diallo and Brown have not revealed when they will announce their college decisions.