Hairston Gives Up Some Thoughts

UCLA's wing target, <b>Malik Hairston</b> from Detroit, has played it pretty close to the vest so far. But when he was asked questions by a throng of reporters at the Nike Camp this week, he talked a bit more candidly about his recruitment...

Malik Hairston, 6-4 SR SG/SF, Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance, talked pretty openly about his recruitment at the Nike Camp this week when he addressed a throng of reporters.

He didn't list all the schools he was interested in, but did talk prominently about UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas and Michigan State.

While he didn't say he had one favorite, or even two favorites, he did talk about the factors that will mean something to him in his decision, such as the schools that recognized him as a top prospect and recruited him early. "There were schools that didn't necessarily think I was that good of a ball player. They might not have thought I was going to be that good, and I can't really blame them for that. Some then jumped on the bandwagon. But I appreciate that the coaches from UCLA and Ohio State saw it. That's what keeps Ohio State and UCLA so high for me. They're great programs also, but I really did appreciate that."

Hairston also said that UCLA and Ohio State could potentially have another advantage. "What would give UCLA an advantage is that (UCLA assistant) Coach Zeigler is from Detroit, and I'd have someone looking out for me there, and I'd have a support system. With Ohio State, it's (Ohio State assistant) Coach Stone, and it's the same thing. I've known them before. So that's very significant."

When he was asked whether he and his teammate and friend, Joe Crawford, who has decommitted from Michigan, would be a package deal, Hairston said, "If it works out that way, great. But our priority is for each of us individually."

Since he played with UCLA commit Jordan Farmar at the Nike Camp, being on the same team that won the three-on-three competition, Hairston commented about playing with Farmar. "Jordan Farmar is a great point guard. He uses the court well. He's very unselfish. Shoots the ball well. I mean, not to say that UCLA is the best situation for me, but we click. We do click."

Hairston did say another big factor in his decision will be a commitment to winning. "Mostly I want to win. Do whatever my team needs to do to win. I want to compete for a national championship. And I want to be around people who have a passion for winning like I do," Hairston said.

When it comes to official visits, Hairston hasn't made plans. He said, "I'm not completely sure. I know I'll go to UCLA, and probably Kansas, but I'm not sure yet."

He doesn't have a timetable to make his decision, but just "whenever it's right," and Hairston knows that he's "really sure about the decision."


Bruin Report Online Top Stories