Video: Malik Newman

Freshman point guard Malik Newman meets with the media following his first official practice at Mississippi State. (And yes, that is former Bulldog great Darryl Wilson shooting 3-pointers with Fred Thomas in the background).

On first practice

“It was great getting out with the team, being able to go more than two hours, being able to work on our game and prepare for our game.”

On Ben Howland going over fundamentals in practice

“It’s still great because you always have to go back to the fundamentals of the game, no matter what you do you still gotta have the fundamentals, so for him to go back and teach that to us, I think that can only improve us and make us better as a team.”

On backcourt with Craig Sword and I.J. Ready

“I think it’s a tremendous backcourt with me and either one of those guys, because both of those guys are seasoned and they have a lot of experience in the SEC and just on the collegiate level, and I think those guys can push me, [they’re] very talented.

“Even though we haven’t been playing together that long, it’s great and it already feels like we have one to two years under our belt together.” I wouldn’t say it’s a lot different. Chicken (Sword) is more of a slash, one of those hard nosed, physical, like to get to the goal guys. He’s gritty and grindy on defense and I do the same thing. I.J.’s the same way, but I think I.J. is a better shooter so I can kinda rely, when I’m going to the goal, with him, to make that open shot for me.”

On pressure

“I don’t look at it as pressure. I look at it as something that’s making me better and that will hopefully prepare me for the next level. And everyone coming out for me each game is gonna make me better and make me play harder each and every game.”

On NBA readiness after season

“Right now, I haven’t really put a lot of focus into it. I’m just focused on taking my time during practice and just waiting for the season and just hoping everything plays out the way it should.”

On Quinndary Weatherspoon’s performance

“I think Q has done great. I think he started off kind of slow, but as time went on I think he developed and now he’s the player that we thought he would be.”

On adjusting to point guard role

“I think I adjusted well. It wasn’t a real big transition for me. I just had a few knicks and knacks that I had to improve on, and that I still have to improve on.”

On being a freshman and a leader

“When you’re doing it right, everyone follows you. For me to be doing what I’m doing and the guys just following, it just gave me that role automatically.”

On switching between positions with Ready

“I think both of us are skilled enough to play either position, so whoever has the ball that’s who has it.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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