Kansas City-area point guard Devin Newsome quietly committed to UNO in late July.
It’s a good thing for the Mavericks that he did, Newsome’s coach said, because recruiting interest was just starting to build.
“A coach from Drake was here recently,” Shawnee Mission (Kan.) South coach Brett McFall said. “And he said, ‘Wow, UNO really got a steal.’ ”
The 5-foot-9 Newsome is a true pass-first, defensive-minded point guard, McFall said.
He averaged 9.9 points and 5.0 assists for a 25-0 team that won the state championship in Kansas Class 5-A — the state’s second largest. The Raiders, who played their typical schedule in a one-season stint in 5-A (they were 11 students short of being in 6-A) were named one of the top teams in the country by MaxPreps.
And it was Newsome, second-team All-Sunflower League and third-team all-state, who was setting the pace for a talented team.
“He’s a great kid, a coach’s dream,” McFall said. “He looks you straight in the eye and every day he works extremely hard. He’s a coach on the floor who makes life so much easier for me by transferring everything onto the floor. And in (two) years he’s never had a bad practice.”
Newsome is making a recruiting visit to UNO this weekend.
McFall said a number of Division I schools were interested, though the recruiting pitches are getting jumbled since two other Raiders — juniors Dainan Swoope and DeAngelo Bruster — are also receiving Division I interest. Another teammate, 6-8 Josh Pedersen, was All-Sunflower last season and now plays at Division II Emporia State.
McFall said the presence of Pedersen and all-stater Swoope probably kept Newsome from making the all-league team last season. Those two, plus three other Division I recruits, were on the first team.
Newsome shot 89 percent from the foul line while recording an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2 to 1, McFall said. Newsome shot 56 percent from the field, including 31 percent from 3-point range.
UNO is picked to finish fifth in the Summit League this season after finishing sixth last year in the Mavs’ first season in the Summit and second in Division I. The Mavs have four scholarship seniors — point guard Caleb Steffensmeier, center John Karhoff, and wings Justin Simmons and Alex Phillips.