According to a report in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Vanderbilt has contacted Southeastern Conference rival Mississippi State about Malik Newman, who announced earlier in the week that he would transfer from the school. Vanderbilt is reportedly the only other SEC school that has requested to contact Newman.
Newman was a McDonald's All-American and five-star recruit who struggled at times as a freshman, averaging 11.3 ppg, and reports indicate that he may have had issues with Mississippi State coach Ben Howland that led to him declaring for the NBA Draft, then announcing that he would transfer after withdrawing his name. Mississippi State has not officially given Newman his release; as a result, other schools must currently request permission from the school to speak with him. At the present time, Mississippi State has not indicated that they will restrict the schools to which Newman can transfer, though it is not uncommon for schools to restrict former players from transferring to conference foes or future opponents.
Vanderbilt has only had one former McDonald's All-American in its history. That was Billy McCaffrey, who was the 1993 SEC Player of the Year after transferring from Duke. Could Newman have a similar arc? He would have to sit out a year and would have three years of eligibility remaining.