Arkansas Knows Adding Dime Would Enrich Class
Now that Arkansas' basketball program has landed one of the nation's best guards in Missouri prep star Jimmy Whitt, the Razorbacks can turn their attention to landing one of the nation's best junior college big-man.
Malik Dime, a 6-10, 220-pound center from Ottumwa (Iowa) Indian Hills Community College, will visit Arkansas on Sept. 19-21 – the third of his four scheduled official visits on successive September weekends.
The Senegal native is set to start his officials at Iowa State on Sept. 5-7, visit Kansas on Sept. 12-14, and follow up his Arkansas visit with one to Washington on Sept. 27-29.
Kansas is a late addition and takes the place of USC for Dime, a former Columbus, Ohio, New Hope Christian Academy prep star that just started playing basketball three years ago upon his arrival in the United States.
“I am going into these visits wide open,” Dime said Thursday afternoon. “I want to go to someplace where I can can play right away, where I can run the floor and make plays and where the coaches care about me and my education instead of just about how I can play basketball.”
He says that Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and assistants Melvin Watkins and Matt Zimmerman talk to him on a daily basis and have him interested in checking out the Razorbacks even as he has done some research on his own.
“I love how they get up and down the floor and I know it is a really good school,” Dime said. “Coach Anderson and Coach Watkins are great coaches and great men that care about their players. I know about the fans, too. They love and support their team and the players as much as possible. I can certainly see myself fitting in there.”
Dime scored 7.7 points, grabbed 4.2 points in an average of just 10.8 minutes while blocking a team-leading 88 shots and shooting 65 percent from the field last season on a talent-laden team that went 34-3 and lost in the National Junior College title game in Hutchinson, Kan.
The Warriors averaged 108.9 points per game with seven players averaging in double figures and 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes.
“We were loaded, but we couldn't finish it off and that has pushed us to work so hard this off-season, to get in the gym as much as we could,” Dime said. “We have four guys coming back and a lot of Division I transfers so our goal is the same – to win it all.”
Dime, who will play alongside 7-0, 220-pound Oklahoma commit Akolda Manyang, believes he has improved his game as evidenced by his play at several junior college showcase camps this spring and summer.
“I have worked to become a better player all-around," Dime said. "I feel really good about where my game is headed. I can run the floor, finish with either hand, have a good face-up and mid-range game. I feel great about my defense and shot-blocking. I just want to keep getting in there and working on my post-up game.”
JucoRecruiting.com analyst Brad Winton likes what he sees out of Dime.
“Malik Dime is a long and active four man who is very mobile,” Winton said Thursday. “ He runs the floor very well, which allows him to beat slower post players in transition. Dime has very good timing on the defensive end and blocks/alters plenty of shots and is a very good weak side defender.
"He gets on the glass on both ends. He is very athletic for his size and excels in an uptempo system. Dime is a quick/explosive jumper, which allows him to finish in transition and in a half court setting.
“He gets most of his points when perimeter players get in the paint off the dribble, make the post players collapse and then distribute to him,” Winton continued. “He also scores off of put backs/tip ins. Dime needs to continue to develop his back to the basket post game and continue to add strength. He has plenty of upside and should continue to develop at a quick pace.”
Dime had intentions right now to major in International Business. That's something that should be helped by the fact that he speaks seven languages - English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Pulaar, Joola and Wolof, the official language of Senegal.
“One of the best things about growing up in Africa is we have the opportunity to learn a lot of languages,” Dime said. “I think that is going to help me – especially if I go into International Business.”
Dime has plans to sign when the early signing period Nov. 12-19 and would ideally like to have his decision announced before Indian Hills plays in exhibition jamborees in Dallas Oct. 10 and Kansas City Oct. 19.
“I'll take these visits, size it all up and see which place is best for me,” Dime said. “Then I can just concentrate on my season and have all the recruiting stuff out of the way.”
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