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4-star guard talks official visit, imminent decision

Greensboro (N.C.) Greensboro Day four-star shooting guard John Newman is ready to render his college decision.

Newman told The Clemson Insider on Thursday that he will announce his commitment on Friday evening.

“The schools I’m considering are Clemson, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Providence,” Newman said. “Those are my top four. I haven’t come out with a formal list of it on Twitter or anything, but in my mind, those are my top schools.”

Newman (6-4, 180) is coming off an official visit to Clemson this week.

The highly regarded prospect in the class of 2018 arrived on campus Tuesday afternoon with his mother, sister and father, former James Madison forward John Newman. They departed around 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

“It was a good full two days,” Newman said. “I got to meet with the assistant to the president of the school. I went over to the basketball facilities again. We went to lunch and did a tour of Clemson, saw the town and I learned some historic facts. I saw the beach that they have, and I saw a lot of different things.”

The official visit marked the fourth total visit to Clemson for Newman, who was offered by the Tigers last August.

Clemson’s coaches reiterated while he was on campus that they believe he is capable of contributing right away.

“The thing I’ve heard is I can help immediately because I have a defensive edge and that’s something that they’re missing right now,” Newman said. “I’m also a two-way player that can score. I’m not that aggressive on the offensive end, so I can play with other good players and find them shots, and I can find shots within myself. I’m a long wing defender who can run the floor and push it out on the break and score the ball. So, they like that about me.”

The Tigers have long viewed Newman as a priority recruit, and he has built a strong relationship with Clemson assistant Dick Bender. Bender, Clemson’s director of men’s basketball operations from 2010-14, recruited Newman while at the College of Charleston from 2014-16 and became his primary recruiter after returning to Clemson last summer.

“The first one I ever talked to from Clemson’s staff was coach Steve Smith. But once coach Bender came back to Clemson, he was my main recruiter because I’d always talked to him when he was at the College of Charleston,” Newman said. “He knew he didn’t really have a chance of getting me to College of Charleston, but I always spoke with him and kept it cool with him, so once he got there he knew that I was a player that he wanted. Our relationship kind of just carried over.”

When Newman looks at Clemson as an option, the people in the program stand out.

“Everyone there is genuine. They genuinely care about you,” he said. “A lot of times when you’re an athlete, people just look at you as an athlete. But I feel like at Clemson it’s a different feel. I feel like people want to genuinely get to know you for the person that you are instead of just a basketball player. I feel everyone’s close and everyone really cares about each other.”

The school Newman announces for Friday will be the place he feels is the best fit.

“I’m just looking for a school that’s close-knit and has a family feel because I’m big on family,” he said. “Somewhere not too far from home but not too close as well, comfortability with the coaching staff, comfortablility with the players, somewhere I feel like I fit in.”

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