Malik Hairston exploded on the national scene with outstanding tournament performances this summer. As the national schools and media began to realize what many in the area already knew, their interest in the young man began to grow. That, along with commitment of Joe Crawford, caused Malik's interest to wane, or so it seemed. Despite the fact that the Wolverines may have fallen down the list, they were never out of consideration (as he mentioned to me when I pulled him to the side at Nike for a little one-on-one interview). Recently he reaffirmed Michigan's standing and elaborated a little more on what will go into his decision making process.
Have you narrowed things down to a top 5 yet?
"No I haven't, but me, my dad, and Coach Walker are going to sit down and talk about that this week."
Do you think you'll have all five of your visits out of the way by the time basketball season starts?
"That's very possible."
Are there any schools that you know you'll officially visit at this point?
"I know I'm going to visit UCLA."
How important is the number of players at your position going to be to you?
"It's not going to be too important because I think if I go in and work hard that I'll be able to earn my minutes."
So it's not necessary for you to be able to start right away?
"Well, that would be blessing! (laughing). But like I said, I have to earn what I get and I have the work ethic to get mine."
What do you think will be your primary spot in college?
"Probably the 2."
Have you been in contact with Michigan lately?
"I talked to Coach Amaker just yesterday. It went pretty well."
You mentioned to me earlier this month that Michigan was always being considered, despite the perception that they weren't.
"Yeah, people think that just because Joe decommitted that doors were opened, but like I told you back then, the door was always open."
So, how does Michigan's playing time situation look to you?
"Ron Coleman already committed and they've got Lester. But honestly, anywhere I go I'm going to earn some minutes. I'm going to work. They have a couple of people at my spot, but that's not something that would hold me back."
What will be the most significant factors in your choice?
"Probably a comfortable situation and most definitely contending for a national championship. I also really want to play and produce."
Is there a particular offensive style that you favor over others?
"I want to play up-tempo transition basketball."
What are you looking to major in?
"I don't know yet."
What are your remaining summer plans?
"I'm going to spend the rest of my time working out and lifting weights."
Out of all of the coaching staffs you've been in contact with, have any of them stuck out more than others?
"Not really. (laughing)."
What I'm getting at is, how do you determine which coaches are being real to you and which ones are just telling you what you want to hear?
"That's VERY hard to distinguish. That's what Coach Walker and my father are going to help me with."
I've sat down and talked at length with Speedy (Walker) on a few occasions and he's definitely one of the guys doing things the right way. Tell me what he has meant to your basketball career.
"He's basically the best coach I've ever had. He has a great understanding of the game and he teaches us everything that he knows. He doesn't hold anything back. I've played for him for 8 years and he has helped me take my game to another level. Him and my father are the ones that made sure that I thought I was the best. Coach Walker is the one that was with me when people didn't think I was a player. He just kept working with me and built his program around me and I really love him for that. He's one of my mentors."
Malik Hairston Update
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