Ottumwa, Iowa, Indiana Hills Community College center Malik Dime felt plenty of love while in Arkansas this weekend – from the players, coaches and the fans.
“My visit to Arkansas went great,” Dime said Sunday night. “I love the players they have there, the coaches are great – which I already knew – and the fans were just great, too. They really love their team. And the food was great, too.”
Dime (6-10, 220), who has already taken visits to Iowa State and Rutgers and will visit Washington next weekend, was stunned how everybody seem to know who he was on the trip to Arkansas.
“When we went to eat on Friday (at the Catfish Hole), I was like the only basketball recruit there but everybody came up to me and knew who I was and it happened like that the whole weekend,” Dime said. “Everywhere I went fans were just showing me the love and wanting me to come play for Arkansas.”
Dime – who averaged 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and blocked 88 shots last season - got a chance to watch the current Razorbacks practice on Saturday morning and see how he would fit into a program that would be losing just two seniors.
“They play fast, really fast, getting up and down the court and everybody touches the basketball,” Dime said. “I think I could really fit in well there. I think I could help make the team better and I think going up against those guys in practice every day would make me better. I think we can really do some great things as a team.”
He had earlier talked about the opportunity to play alongside Arkansas sophomore Bobby Portis, who is regarded currently as a first round NBA draft pick should he leave after this season.
“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.”
One of the biggest impressions that Dime left campus with was the sense of family around the Razorback basketball program.
That was enhanced by visits to the homes of head coach Mike Anderson and assistant Melvin Watkins during the weekend.
“They really are like one big family, all supporting each other and guys who like to be around each other and do things together,” Dime said. “They have a great chemistry and you can tell how much the coaches care about their players both on and off the court.
“I got a chance to go to Coach Watkins house on Saturday night and Coach Anderson’s on Sunday and they just make you feel like one of their sons,” Dime added. “It’s just very comfortable and a big family.”
Dime got a chance to see the current status of construction on the Basketball Performance Center and pictures of what it should be like upon completion in the summer of 2015.
“The arena is great and the new center is a great thing to have, to help your development as a player and be able to practice any time that you have the opportunity,” Dime said. “I am impressed with what they have and what is coming.”
He also got a chance to tour the Walton Business School, listed as one of the 30 best public business schools in the country by Forbes Magazine.
“It’s not definite that I am going to major in that (International Business), but I think that is what is going to happen,” Dime said. “If I do, I will get the opportunity to do so at one of the best business schools in the world. That’s big.”
Dime will now take the trip to Washington and then have a decision soon afterwards with plans to sign in the Nov. 12-19 signing period.
“I am going to get all these visits done and then set down and just figure where I feel the most comfortable at both as a student and an athlete,” Dime said. “I want to be fair to all the coaches that have recruited me, but I have to make the right decision for my future.”
Dime Wowed By Arkansas Visit
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