Unique skill set of Malik Williams garners attention #iubb

He’s comfortable working on the block and making the most of his 6-foot-11 frame.

But Malik Williams is not a traditional center.

“He’s definitely not a paint person,” said Juan Gorman, Williams’ AAU coach for Legit Basketball. “He’s a perimeter person. He’s a stretch-four and sometimes even a three in the right situation.”

Behold the unique skill set of Williams, one of the nation’s top recruits in the 2017 class.

College coaches, including those at Indiana, are enamored with the size and versatility presented by the Fort Wayne Snider product, whose smooth shot and perimeter game have made him a major recruiting target across the Big Ten and beyond.

In the 247 Sports Composite, Williams is ranked No. 40 in the country and No. 5 in Indiana’s loaded junior class. IU, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State, Louisville, Cincinnati, UCLA and USC are all courting Williams, who is reportedly expected to narrow his focus on finalists later this summer.

In the meantime, Williams is looking to cement his status as one of the nation’s most intriguing high school prospects.

“(I’m trying to) get stronger, finish around the basket better, handle the ball and pass better and be an overall smarter player,” he said.

Williams has already shown a knack for playing all over the floor, shooting 46 percent from the field, including 36 percent from beyond the arc during his junior season at Snider. He averaged 21.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 blocks, while hitting 75 percent of his free throws.

With one more high school season to go, Williams is already Snider’s career rebounding and single-season block leader.

“He has great timing in that skill set of blocking shots and going to find the ball,” Gorman said. “He has a motor. You don’t find too many 6-11, 7-foot kids that can run. He can run, he can defend and do all the little things that kids his size can’t do.”

Williams took an unofficial visit to Louisville last weekend and said he enjoyed his conversations with the Cardinals’ coaching staff. Williams also says he hears at least once a week from IU assistant Tim Buckley.

“He’s a cool guy,” Williams said. “They’ve been there for a long time. They were my first offer and they’ve been consistent ever since. We’ve built a strong relationship.”

Meanwhile on the court, Williams continues to build his overall game ahead of his college decision.

“He’s fine-tuning what he does well and he’s getting stronger,” Gorman said. “He’s already got a nice, soft shot and he can shoot with the best of them. He can probably out-shoot some guards.”

3 comments

  1. So he’s a CZ “clone.” This game is passing me by. How is it that a 6’11” young man, who may still be growing, not be “a paint person?” Do we even need “paint” players anymore? I was watching the Cavs/GS game last night and I thought, “the action in the paint resembles an MMA contest.” The hacking and un-called fouls were ridiculous. It was a three point shooting contest. Wilt Chamberlin got hacked a lot back in the day. But there were certain types of fouls no one dared commit against him. If you played him in the paint the way today’s NBA players play each other, his retaliation would have put every opposing center and forward in the hospital, then he would have shot the free throws. For me, the NBA game (it’s not basketball), played by the best athletes on earth, is just not fun to watch anymore. Let’s hope college BB does not continue to slouch toward the NBA game.

  2. The NBA is a farce and is unwatchable. I gave up on the Pacers a long time ago. Bird has traded away better players than he has now.

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