One and Done Players Can Propel MSU Basketball


It’s been a while since the Bulldogs were relevant in Men’s Basketball. Because it’s been so long, some of us have lost touch with how college basketball works in this day and age. I say this because there are rumblings Mississippi State has become a more likely destination for Malik Newman.

Most people agree that Newman would raise the bar significantly for Mississippi State in 2015-16. Newman is labeled as close to a can’t miss prospect as you can get. But assuming he is everything we have been told he is, Newman will bolt for the NBA after one year of college regardless of where he plays. And because of that, there are some who believe he wouldn’t impact the long term outlook of the program and would rather we just pass on him altogether. If you don’t believe me, I offer Exhibit A.

I’m all for debating how much impact a player who is only here for a year will have. I think there is a great conversation to be had there. But suggesting that Newman wouldn’t have an impact is just misguided. And then to call him a clown is absurd. Malik Newman would change the face of Mississippi State basketball. If that is what a clown brings to the table, then pack me a car full of them.

College basketball is dominated these days by teams that have players that are “One and Done”. Kentucky has made their living off of this type of player since John Calipari took over in 2010. And in that time, Kentucky has made it to four Final Fours and won a National Championship. Duke just broke from tradition using at least three players who fit the One and Done mold.

Malik Newman could be a tipping point for the Bulldogs. If other top level recruits were to see Newman succeeding on a high level, then Mississippi State would be much more attractive to those recruits. Compile that with the number of times that Howland has coached players who played in the NBA will be flashed on television screens, the Bulldogs would instantly become a major player with future recruits.

We might not like that the game has turned into this. Personally, I’d like to see the one and done rule wiped out and just let these players go straight to the pros. Experience would become more of a factor in college basketball and we could get to know the stars of the game a little more. But until that happens, if we have a one and done player available to us, we need to take them.