Minutes after the younger Monk (6-4, 190) tossed in 31 points Thursday night at the Nike Peach Jam, the older Monk just laughed at all those who supposedly know where he is definitely going.
“It’s funny, but seriously, if you did not hear it directly from his mom’s mouth or mind, it is simply not true,” Marcus Monk said. “But I understand it. It is no harm, no foul. Fans are fans and he (Malik) is very blessed and very appreciative to be in this situation.
“Everybody can say that they know, but that is simply not true. You don’t pay any mind to it…He is 17 years old kid and whatever decision he makes when the time comes will be his. But he simply has not made that decision yet so know one can honestly know that.
“No matter what he decides, I know all the fans of the other schools might not agree with it, but I hope they will respect it.”
Malik Monk is a consensus top 10 prospect nationally in the 2016 class and both of the games his Arkansas Wings played on Thursday were packed to the rafters with college coaches, media and fans.
He had 21 points in an opening 58-50 pool play win over Team Penny and then 31 as the Wings topped Team Final 82-66 during the evening session.
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and assistant Melvin Watkins were at both games as were North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton and assistants from Kentucky, Oregon, St. John’s, Baylor and other schools.
Malik Monk did an interview after the first victory and made it clear he knows how much Arkansas fans and the Razorback players and coaches want him to stay in state.
“A lot of (Arkansas) team members come of a lot of (my games) and the coaches hit me up like every day,” Malik Monk said. “Mostly every day fans tell me to come to Arkansas, but it’s no pressure at all because it is my decision.”
Most speculation is that Monk will end up at Arkansas or Kentucky, where head coach John Calipari - who was at another tournament on Thursday - has let the player know he is a high priority as well.
“Oh, yeah, he’s told me that before,” Malik Monk said. (Calipari) was just telling me that he wanted to coach me.”
Both Monks hear a lot that Arkansas and Kentucky are the front-runners.
“I hear that, but it is definitely wide-open,” Marcus Monk said.
While Marcus Monk is a guiding force for his younger brother, it’s Malik that will make the decision.
“It’s my decision so he just helps me with everything,” Malik Monk said. “He’s happy for me wherever I go. If I come to him, he’ll help me. But he never comes to me.”
Malik Monk had said earlier this week that he would be ready to list a top five at the end of the week, but has changed his mind on that.
It will be later in August and the list - which will not necessarily be a top five - will be announced on his brother’s new radio show “The Raw Report.”
“He came to me and said that he doesn’t want to think about this until after the Peach Jam,” Marcus Monk said. “He wants to enjoy this last summer with his teammates. So he has not narrowed his list down at all.
“Kansas has been heavy on him, North Carolina, Oregon, Florida State, Arkansas of course, Kentucky of course and a few other schools. But as far as narrowing it down, he hasn’t thought anything about it. I can’t do it for him. It’s his decision.”
Malik’s brother and mother do their best to shield him from recruiting and just let him play basketball.
Watching Malik Monk this morning. Favorite player in Class of 2016. He'll probably sign a $100 million contract someday.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 9, 2015
“The main thing is that we try to shelter him and take care of things as much as we can, keep him informed on every thing and let him just focus on basketball and let him know that this isn’t life or death,” Marcus Monk said. “When it comes down to him making the decision, the key thing is he has to be happy.
“We are a close-knit family and he knows that we are the only ones as far as decisions that he should be listening to,” Marcus Monk said. “…He does know that he has to be full-fledged selfish in this decision and if Arkansas is the best fit for him or if it is Kentucky or if it is Kansas or any other school, Oregon, Florida State - any one of them, he has to make that decision solely on what makes him happy.”
Malik Monk will release his top schools after visiting with his mom and brother in August.
“My mother and myself will sit down with him in August and basically get feedback on what he wants as far as education, what he wants to major in, what does he want to pursue as a career because he can’t play basketball forever,” Marcus Monk said. “He needs something to fall back on.
“We will talk about systems, the coaching staffs that he is comfortable with, distance, just everything - the whole remedy or recipe or whatever you want to call it. We will just go over all the details.”
Marcus Monk said that his younger brother plans to take all five of his official visits and that he will definitely be signing in the spring signing period and not in the November early signing period.
“He has taken any official visits and there are a few things that he needs to do and needs to see,” Marcus Monk said. “Our mother needs to go on the campuses and see where her baby will be.
“He is blessed enough that he doesn’t have to rush into things and that is always a plus. She will go on every visit. The plan is to do all five, but it depends on scheduling with his high school season, but the plan is to do all five.”
Marcus Monk doesn’t like the use of the word pressure when discussing Arkansas fans wanting his younger brother to stay home.
“If you are from a state such as Arkansas, the Razorbacks are the pro team in Arkansas and it is like family,” Marcus Monk said. “The fans are crazed for the team and you understand that. I would call it pressure. I would simply call it love of the fans who are prideful about Arkansas.
“I went there and I understand it fully. The fans in Arkansas really love their sports so I wouldn’t expect anything different.”
Kentucky has touted its recent departure of numerous players to the NBA while former Arkansas star Bobby Portis said during his NBA declaration press conference that he had proved that Monk could get to the NBA by being a Razorback.
“A lot of people don’t know that Malik actually played with Bobby on the Wings when he was in the seventh grade and played up,” Marcus Monk said. “He knows Bobby and they text a lot. They are good friends. He was very happy for Bobby and actually thought Bobby should have went earlier (in the NBA draft).
“He (Monk) is really rooting for him because Bobby has always helped Malik and I know Bobby is rooting for Malik as well.”