As broke earlier this afternoon from Travis Hines and the Ames Tribune, Iowa State men’s basketball target Malik Dime will make his college decision on Monday.
It’s reported that he will choose between Washington, Arkansas, Rutgers and Iowa State. A 4-star prospect from 247Sports, Dime stands 6-foot-10 and weights 215 pounds.
Last season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, Dime only averaged 7.7 points, but shot 65 percent from the field in just over 10 minutes per game.
Jul 18, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Huskies assistant basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger ( l ) talks with Virginia Cavaliers basketball coach Tony Bennett ( r ) in the stands during the game between Team France and Team USA East during the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity University in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Crystal Ball projection from 247Sports isn’t always accurate, but it is a good indicator from those who monitor recruiting and where they think a certain prospect will go. As it stands today, they have an 80 percent likelihood that he will end up roaming the halls of the Ames campus this time next year. The major roadblock standing in the way appears to be Washington and their lead recruiter (former Iowa State assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger).
The Huskies will only return three post players for the 2015-16 season, so they can offer immediate playing time and a strong possibility of stepping into a starting role. That said, Washington went 17-15 overall last year and bowed out in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament ending their season. Seasoned head coach Lorenzo Romar has been at the helm for 12 years, and his Husky team has been just over 50 percent (35-31 overall, 17-17 conference) over the past two years. And in 2011-12 when they finished in first place of the league, it still only got them into the NIT. So Washington is far from a power house basketball school.
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Iowa State cannot guarantee as much playing time, but playing time is earned. They lose Dustin Hogue and Daniel Endozie from the post after this season, which will offer Dime a chance to place in a much more difficult conference. He’ll get better every day in practice going up against preseason “All-Everything” Georges Niang, Jameel McKay, Abdel Nader and Georgios Tsalmpouris.
Standing 6-foot-10, he recorded 88 blocks last season, good for 2.9 blocks per game. To put that into prospective, coach Hoiberg raved about Jameel McKay’s rim protection capabilities – but McKay only had 50 blocks his last season at Indian Hills before transferring to Iowa State. If the Cyclones can land Dime and partner with McKay down low, and sprinkle Niang’s ability to score from anywhere on the floor; Naz Long, Matt Thomas and Oregon State transfer Hallice Cooke’s 3-point ability to stretch the defense, the Cyclones could be a very dangerous team to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament in 2015-16.
Dime has to decide which is more important; immediate playing time or being a part of something special that could earn him a championship ring.