One of the keys in the Arkansas basketball program's intent to get bigger and better will arrive in Fayetteville on Friday morning.
Ottumwa, Iowa, Indian Hills Community College center Malik Dime (6-10, 220) will begin his official visit with the Razorbacks on Friday after previously visiting Iowa State and Rutgers and with plans to visit Washington the following weekend.
“I have been talking to the Arkansas coaches about every day and I am just anxious to get down there and be around the players, check out facilities that they already have and are building (Basketball Performance Center) and see the guys that would be my teammates,” Dime said. “I'm very excited about checking things out and seeing the people and the atmosphere.
“I think it really could be a place that I fit in because of the up tempo pace and how much I like and respect all the coaches there,” Dime added.
The Senagal native is set to arrive early Friday and will get to take in one of the Razorbacks individual workouts, tour the campus and meet with professors and get a chance to see Arkansas' football game with Northern Illinois.
“It sounds like it is going to be a fun weekend,” Dime said. “My other two visits have went well and I am looking forward to these two and then making a decision.”
Dime had been involved with Kansas as well, but has not been offered a scholarship to this point and will choose from the other four schools soon per his head coach John Wardenburg.
“It's going to be one of these four schools and somebody is going to get a very good player, who has just played the game for a few years,” Wardenburg said. “His best basketball is ahead of him and he is getting better every day and every practice.”
Dime is one of two big men on the roster of Indian Hills, who lost in the national title game last season and is headed into this season as the pre-season top-ranked juco squad.
“It's great they think of us like that, but I want to be number one when it counts and that's after the last game,” Dime said. “We are working hard already to make sure that is the case.”
Some of wondered if Dime views himself as a replacement for current Razorback sophomore Bobby Portis – who is considered a high NBA draft pick if he leaves after this season – or if he can see himself playing alongside Portis (6-10, 242) and fellow sophomore Moses Kingsley (6-10, 240).
“I don't really look at that as being a factor at all,” Dime said. “Don't get me wrong, I would love for him to be there and all of us play great and make it tough for our opponents. But that's not something going into my decision. There will be great players and other big guys at all these schools.”
Dime averaged 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds last season while shooting 65. 3 percent from the field, but made his name on the defensive end with 88 blocks while playing just an average of 20 minutes on a talent-laden team.
“Malik is a guy who has not played the game for many years, but is a natural at it,” Wardenburg said. “He can score inside and has really worked hard to develop his back-to-the-back game over the last year. He can also face up and hit shots now and should be ready to have just a fantastic year for us.
“On defense, he is just so long and has such great instincts that it is just hard to get a shot off against him inside,” Wardenburg added. “He just has such a gift for blocking and altering shots and that's a huge deal for us and will be for his next college team.”
Wardenburg is also a big fan of the young man who speaks nine languages and has plans to major in International Business.
“What a great person he is, just great character and someone who is just a solid, solid individual,” Wardenburg said. “He is going to be a success in life with or without basketball.”
Dime To Drop In On Arkansas This Weekend
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