Given that most players in the class of 2016 are just now wrapping up their freshman seasons, it is too early to make much of the class as a whole. But, so far it looks to be a promising one and Malik Monk has been an early standout.
A 6-foot-3 combo guard from LePanto (Ark.) East Poinsette County, Monk has averaged around 22 points per game during his freshman campaign. A slender high flyer, Monk has really started to take off in the past few weeks.
"He's been playing real well these last couple of weeks," said Monk's older brother Marcus. "He's getting comfortable and more confident with what he's doing being that he's in the ninth grade and on varsity.
"They only have one senior and they are a young team. He's not having a hard time dealing with that. It just took him a while to get adjusted to the physicality of it."
In addition to his high flying style, Monk is also a skilled scorer. He gets tremendous lift on his jumper, is an outstanding passer and hasn't even come close to maturing physically. Also, ball is in his family considering his older brother played football and hoops at Arkansas before getting drafted in the NFL and playing hoops professionally in Germany.
In other words, his potential is pretty considerable.
"It's huge and just me knowing a little bit about ball it is scary because he doesn't even know," says Marcus of his little brother. "He's so young that he doesn't understand. He hasn't even grown into his body yet. He gets off the ground so quick and he's powerful with that first step it's going to be exciting to see."
Not surprisingly, Arkansas has become an early factor in Monk's recruitment and he has already been to Fayetteville plenty. Florida, Alabama, LSU and others are expressing interest as well.
This summer, Monk will play mostly on the 16U team for the Arkansas Wings but could also play some with the 17's. Given his youth, he's in no rush to make any kind of decision either and will have the support of his family and an older brother who has been in his shoes.
"I don't want any pressure for him because I've been through that," said Monk of his younger brother. "A lot of people ask him all the time about school and he just wants to play."