It doesn’t take long to see why Malik Williams is considered one of the country’s most promising prospects in the 2017 class.
Watch him block a shot. Watch him run the floor. Watch his 6-11 frame rise up and throw down dunk in traffic. It’s all there, just maybe not as consistently as it could be.
“I feel like I’m a good player right now,” said Williams, a Fort Wayne Snider sophomore. “But I could be a lot better.”
Williams, who is playing this weekend at the Run N Slam tourney in Fort Wayne with his teammates from Legit Basketball, has just 210 pounds on his nearly 7-foot frame. His goal is to add 15 pounds before his next high school season, which could have a major impact on his effectiveness in the post on both offense and defense.
“I’m working on getting stronger and being more physical,” he said. “(Coaches) like the way I can run the floor. I can handle the ball, run and dribble a little bit. I can shoot.”
Williams, who had 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in a win on Friday night, was offered by Indiana last summer when he took an unofficial visit to Bloomington. The Hoosiers have continued to stay on contact throughout his sophomore year. Williams picked up his second offer, from Toledo, about three weeks ago.
“Those are things you can’t teach,” Legit coach Juan Gorman said of Williams’ ability to run the floor. “You can get in the gym and do other things but you can’t teach that. That’s why his ceiling is so high. He’s getting better. His first couple of tournaments (this spring), he’s played solid. When we play teams that have other bigs, that’s when you see the best of him. He’s there, it’s just a consistency thing.”
Williams, ranked No. 71 by Rivals in the 2017 class, has interest from a number of other schools, including Butler, Kentucky, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Xavier. Williams visited Kentucky during the season for its game against Arkansas.
“It was a great atmosphere and the fans were excited,” Williams said of the Kentucky visit. “I went back to the locker room and talked to the coaches. They said they like my ability to run the floor and said I just need to work on getting stronger.”
Williams, who set a single-season school record with 105 blocked shots, also visited both Butler and Purdue during the season. He said he’s talking the recruiting process slowly and will wait until at least into his junior year before making any decisions.