April 24, 2015. A meaningless day for many, was a blessing for the Kentucky basketball program.
On April 24th fans were upset and shocked when Malik Newman chose to go to Mississippi State over Kentucky. “Why would anyone in their right mind choose Starkville over Lexington, especially the nation’s #1 point guard?”
The truth is, no matter how many good excuses there are — his Father played there, he’s from Mississippi, Ben Howland, etc. — it didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. Even though UK lost Newman, tonight will prove that losing Newman was a win.
Instead of landing Newman, the Cats got Jamal Murray. The BBN had to sweat it out for a little while, but he’s proved to be worth the wait. Murray leads the Cats in scoring and is 5th in the SEC with 17.3 points per game, scoring in double figures in 13 straight games. Murray has his streaky moments, but when he’s hot, he’s kept Kentucky in games, most notably during his memorable 33-point performance against Ohio State, the most points by a Wildcat since 2011.
Meanwhile, Malik Newman is second on the team in scoring with 13 points per game, the Bulldogs are winless in the SEC with a 7-7 record, and he’s dropped out of the first round of the DraftExpress 2016 mock draft. His best game of the season was a 20-point performance in a 24-point win over the mighty Northern Colorado Bears.
Even though in all likelihood he’ll have the game of his life tonight in Rupp Arena, it will only be a flash. The right man for the job is wearing #23 in blue and white.
Remember, sometimes God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.