Malik Monk: Sophomore Sampler

Back roughly a decade ago, Marcus Monk made his way to Arkansas to join the football and basketball programs.

These days, it's his little brother, Malik Monk, drawing all the attention. A sophomore guard who picked up offers from Arkansas, LSU and Florida before his first high school game, Monk is an even better prospect than his brother.

He backed up the early offers with a freshman season that at times was scintillating. He followed that with successful ventures last summer at the Elite 100 Camp and LeBron James Skills Academy, where he impressed despite competing against elite competition up to two years older.

Monk is a fantastic athlete with springs that enable him to play well above the rim. He's a fullcourt terror already thanks to his speed and leap, and he possesses ample body control as well. At this juncture he's a touch more effective in the open court than he is in halfcourt settings, but by no means is he a slouch in structure, either.

His jump shot has potential, even as he's a streak shooter at present. For example, as's Dudley Dawson reported, Monk recently shot 5-22 in a contest after nailing 11 threes in the game prior. And even when he struggles, such as the 5-22 showing, he might hit a 30-foot game winner and shoot 15-18 from the free throw line.

Monk's first step is among the best in the class. As his high number of free throws suggests, he knows that's his game and doesn't shy away from contact. In that sense he reminds of another former Arkansas prep product, Archie Goodwin.

He holds outstanding defensive potential as well. Monk has quick feet, aggression and the size (6-3) to body up to opposing guards. I like him better on the wing than at point — and he's clearly a wing on offense — and at his age he could grow to 6-4 or 6-5 very realistically.

To maximize his talent, he certainly can improve his dribbling against pressure. He doesn't lag too far behind in that regard, but becoming more balanced between right and left hand will help.

From here, he'll advance to the travel circuit where he now has valuable experience garnered from his 2013 campaign. He'll be a stud attraction over the coming months and begin to accumulate even heavier recruiting attention that he does currently.

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