Malik Hairston Still in Limbo

At least three new high-major schools have suddenly tried to get involved with Malik Hairston. One will be in the gym tomorrow night when the playoffs start up.

North Carolina will make the trip to Detroit on Wednesday night. Oregon has been up in the past week. Maryland has also begun calling in the past 24 hours. For Malik Hairston, arguably the top unsigned senior who may actually step foot on a college campus next fall, this may be a classic case of "too little, too late."

Hairston, the versatile, do-everything 6-6 senior small forward at Detroit Renaissance (Mich.), is surprisingly still on the board. He has been considering offers from UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan and most recently, Oklahoma.

Now the Tar Heels, Ducks and Terps are trying to get in the mix.

``In my tenure as a coach, this is the strangest recruitment I've seen," said The Family boss Durand "Speedy" Walker. "As close as I am to Malik, I couldn't even begin to guess where he wants to go to school. I just don't think he's comfortable making the decision yet. No one really knows where Malik is day-to-day with this whole thing."

However, by Hairston's own admission, it will be extremely difficult for any of the new schools to even get an official visit. Hairston still has two remaining – and it's likely the Sooners will get one of them because they have been involved for the past couple months. Hairston may not even take the final trip.

``With Oregon and North Carolina, it's been very casual conversations," Hairston said. "I've spoken on the phone with them once each time."

While the North Carolina name sways many 16-year-olds, Hairston likely won't be one of them, according to those close to Hairston.

``He's just not overwhelmed by anybody," Walker added. "When he found out North Carolina was interested, it was really no different than when any other school called. No one has really excited this kid enough for him to commit."

``Oklahoma would be the only other school I visit as of right now," Hairston said. "That could change, but I doubt it."

``I honestly think I just plan on focusing on the five schools on my list right now," he added.

For now, Hairston is trying his best to zero in on the Public School League playoffs, which begin tomorrow night.

``I wouldn't be surprised at all if he waits until after the state playoffs end to make a decision," Renaissance coach Mark White said. "He's such a competitor that I don't think he's thinking about anything other than the city and state championships right now."

DT's Scout Thoughts: One of the younger players in the class. He's an outstanding talent and gifted offensive player. When he rebounds he puts up big numbers; when he doesn't he's a 15-point guy in high school. Big games have centered around outstanding efforts on the glass. Shot has improved from the perimeter and he's an excellent slasher. Strength is his versatility and feel for the game. Just starting to fill out as a prospect.


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