Former prep All-American Malik Newman has asked for his release from Mississippi State.
MSU confirmed Newman's decision in a release Monday afternoon.
Newman originally declared for the NBA draft in late March but announced last week his intentions to return to the college ranks after receiving second-round projections. Almost simultaneously with the announcement, reports surfaced stating Newman wouldn't be back at MSU.
"I think it was a trust issue. I don't think that Malik trusted Ben. Not saying he's a bad coach or anything to that nature. We'd be crazy to say that he's a terrible coach," Horatio Webster, Newman's father, told the Clarion-Ledger. "But he wasn't the coach for Malik. I don't think Ben trusted Malik so I think the feeling was mutual. I don't think they trusted each other." Howland released a statement Monday afternoon: "I appreciate all of Malik's hard work, and I wish him the very best moving forward," Howland said. "I want nothing but the best for Malik and his family."
Hopes were high ahead of Newman's arrival in Starkville as he was the crown jewel of Ben Howland's first class. Newman ultimately selected MSU over Kansas, Kentucky and others.
Newman averaged 11.3 points during his freshman campaign but was never quite right after getting off to a slow start due to a preseason injury.