Visit Moves Iowa Up List of Four-Star PF Malik Williams

January 25, 2016

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Malik Williams holds the kind of scholarship offers that often spells trouble for Iowa. The Hawkeyes don’t usually beat schools like Michigan State and Indiana for prospects.

But just as third-ranked Iowa has surprised pundits on the court this season, it could confound the experts in its pursuit of Williams, Rivals No. 35 player nationally in the Class of 2017.

“Malik is one of those kids that could go to a Michigan State or an Indiana, but he’s also one of those kids that could fit in anywhere,” his AAU Coach Juan Gorman told HawkeyeNation.com. “He’s not looking to be that star or that headliner or that kid that wants to stand out in front. That’s just his personality.

“I think he fits into more of an Iowa or a Marquette, a situation like that. The big-name schools don’t drive him.”

The 6-foot-11, 210-pound Williams runs with Gorman’s Team Legit and at Fort Wayne (IN) Snider High. He reports scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, N.C. State, Purdue, Temple, Toledo, Wake Forest and Xavier.

Williams checked out three of the schools vying hard for his services during the weekend. He stopped at Indiana on Saturday and watched Purdue lose at Iowa on Sunday. It was his first trip to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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Williams and his mother spent time with 2016 Iowa signee Tyler Cook and his parents. They also met with the Hawkeye coaches and players.

“He loved it. Him and his mother were really excited. It was a nice environment and it pushes Iowa up top with a couple other schools right now. So, things are looking pretty good,” Gorman said.

Gorman said the thing Iowa has going for it most is Williams’ strong relationship with Head Coach Fran McCaffery and Assistant Andrew Francis.

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“He speaks with them all the time. They’re brutally honest with him. Sometimes you don’t get that in recruiting. They just tell you what you want to hear. He’s kind of a quiet kid but he likes the truth. He wants his game critiqued and he wants to get better,” Gorman said.

“They’ve shown a lot of support. They’ve been down here three, four, fives times, I believe. That’s a bonus. They’re showing some real serious interest in him and he sees that.”

Williams set the Snider High record with 105 blocks as a sophomore last winter.

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“He blocks shots with ease but he has the ability to score points. You don’t find that too often all in one package. You usually find your shot blocker or your scorer. And this kid can also step outside the three-point line and knock down jump shots. He has the rare ability to do things that you just don’t see a lot in a 6-11 kid,” Gorman said.

Gorman said Williams is considering Engineering and Physical Therapy as potential college majors but that could change. With signing day not until November, there’s no rush to decide anything right now.

“We’re just taking it all in and trying not to get too overwhelmed with it. As the coaches call and come, he and his mom look at everybody. They just take it in stride, not getting overwhelmed, not getting too excited. It’s all in process. Just find out where you fit and what’s the best situation for you, not only basketball wise but academically,” Gorman said.

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