Hairston Prepares For Kansas Visit

Top Michigan standout reflects on previous official visits to Ohio State, UCLA.

Detroit Renaissance small forward Malik Hairston will begin his last scheduled official visit Friday at Kansas.

The 6-6, 185-pound Hairston, who is ranked ninth overall nationally and as the country's No. 2 small forward by TheInsidersHoops.com, made official visits to Ohio State and UCLA the last two weekends.

Hairston told Bucknuts he enjoyed his visit to Ohio State over the weekend of Sept. 6, when he attended the OSU-San Diego State football game.

"It was nothing new that I had not seen already there," said Hairston, who did not reveal a favorite. "It was a good environment. I liked Coach O'Brien. He seemed like he was really good with the players and really down to earth. I was comfortable with that situation.

"All of the guys I was with there seemed really good, too."

Hairston then made an official visit to UCLA last weekend.

"Once again, it was a nice environment," Hairston said. "They have another guy, Coach Ziegler, who is a Michigan guy. They tried to make me feel comfortable and tried to take care of me.

"They tried to make me see I could really be part of something there."

Hairston said he has appreciated the job done by the coaching staffs at both OSU and UCLA, where former Pitt coach Ben Howland has taken over this off-season.

"They have both been with me for a long time," he said.

O'Brien and assistant coach Lamonta Stone then made an in-home visit on Monday.

As for Kansas, he wants to see what new head coach Bill Self has to say and also see where the magic lies in Lawrence.

"I just want to look and see if that will be a comfortable situation for me to be away from home," he said. "I also want to spend some time with Coach Self. I don't have a real good feel for him right now."

As far as how he would fit on the floor in at any of these schools, Hairston replied, "I really haven't looked at that. I'm just going to keep working on my game."

Hairston was also asked when he plans to make a decision.

"I'm really not sure," he said. "I really don't think it has hit me yet and just said, `This is where I need to be.' I need to compare schools and then see if I need to make another visit somewhere else.

"I guess it's kind of mandatory that I decide (before the November signing period) and get it out of the way. But I'm not going to rush it."

Hairston enjoyed a fine junior campaign at Renaissance, averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks per game. He then solidified his stock with fine showings at summer camps as well as on the AAU circuit with The Family team.

OSU already has two verbal commitments -- forward Matt Terwilliger and point guard Jamar Butler -- in a class that could number as many four players. If Hairston would sign, OSU would certainly end up with a top-10 class this year.


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