Recruiting Report 2018: Malik McKinney
Malik McKinney, 6″1″, PG/CG, 2018. Indian Creek Eagles HS. Crownsville, MD.
Grassroots Team: 6th Man Warriors 17U
At Prep Hoops we emphasize giving exposure to under the radar, under recruited, & underrated hidden gems. 2018 PG/CG Malik McKinney fits this profile perfectly. We rate Malik in the D2 & D1 mid major prospect level. The 2017/18 season will be very important to Malik to aquire more D1 looks where we believe he can play. In our visits to various High Schools in MD/ DC this fall we have seen several college coaches who are recruiting Malik & each coach raves about him on & off the floor. The same holds true for the High School Coaches who have seen Malik play & know him. We have seen Malik play several times & have chatted with Mailk on numerous occasions. We echo the raves Malik receives. He is a very impressive young man & basketball player.
Last season Malik was awarded 1s Team All MIAA B Conference after averaging close to 2o points, 6 rebounds & 5 assists per game for Indian Creek HS. This coming season Malik is a potential MVP candidate along with, 6’4″ seniors LJ Owens & Jermaine Hall from The Severn School & 6’5″ junior Ziggy Reid from St. Pauls. This past summer Malik enjoyed great success playing for the 6th Man Warriors 17U. He averaged approximately 17 points & 5 assists per game & played off the ball to team with St.Vicent Palloti Panthers guard Stephen Cannady to form a potent back court. Stephen just committed to D2 power Wheeling Jesuit & is ranked #35 in our 2018 MD/DC ranking while Malik is #59 with great potential to move higher. The Warriors & Malik played very well at the Spring Jamfest, Summer Jamfest & Pitt Jamfest. Malik excelled at the Hoops Group & ACSL Showcase finals in July.
Malik played very well at the DMV Elite 80 Invitee only Showcase in mid September in Bowie, MD. He has an excellent overall game on both sides of the ball & on offense has a similar playing style to James Harden from the NBA. The lefty can attack the rim from both sides & finish off the glass with either hand thru contact on a consistent basis. Malik is very crafty in the paint & can score off pump fakes, reverse lay ins or by going straight up. He gets off the floor very quick, & his vertical is very, very good. Malik uses his superb handle skills to get down hill & break his defender down off the dribble. When he advances the ball up-court in transition, Malik puts his long strides to good use where he can beat his defenders on sheer speed alone for blow byes. His change of pace & direction are excellent & Malik can weave in out of traffic dodging his defenders to get to rim. He possesses a superb hesitation & go with a great acceleration burst to blow past the opposition. Malik’s handle is very compact & tight. He rarely gets stripped or loses possession from his handle. He runs the fast break very efficiently & can finish above the rim for a dunk with either hand or make pin point dishes such as kick-outs, drop offs & alley oops. Maik is a fantastic facilitator & utilizes his great court vision & high IQ to deliver elite passes from any location on the court on or off the dribble.
We really like how Malik incorporates scoring into his game, while maintaining his role as very team oriented PG. He scores on quick strikes when he discovers an opportunity or becomes a great ball mover & facilitator. His timing & ability to make ultra quick winning decisions are fantastic. He can score from any level & uses numerous methods to convert at the rim with his excellent quickness off the dribble. Malik’s go to ball handling moves are the in & out crossover, the behind the back between the legs which Malik uses to attack the rim or pull-up for a jumper. His spin dribble move is very effective to advance the ball up court or convert a basket in the paint. In transition or in the half-court, Malik can score off his advanced Euro Step or Kyrie rim move(1/2 Euro-Step).
Malik’s shot mechanics are picture perfect with very nice elevation, high release, square up point & follow thru. He is a knockdown shooter off the dribble or spot up. In the mid range Malik can score off 1 to 3 dribble pull-ups or from the fast break. He stops on the dime freezing his defender & then rises straight up for a bucket. Like James Harden, Malik can go to his lethal step back to score from the 3 point line or closer to the basket. He is very good at pulling his defender towards him & going into the body of his opponent to create space. Malik scores very well from the triple threat & uses a jab a great step.
Another strong point for Malik is defense where he utilizes his very long wingspan very effectively. He has great timing & reactions to loose balls, collect rebounds, get steals & reject or alter shots. Mailk is very tough ball hawking defender who can apply full court pressure the entire game. He prides himself on guarding the oppositions best player & taking him out the game. In heavy traffic Malik can snatch rebounds & make immediate decisions to either advance the ball up court or make an outlet pass. We have seen him snatch a rebound with one hand & in 1 motion deliver a strike to his teammate at the rim for a layup. He is very quick off his feet & can run down opponents for chase down blocks. Malik has a great nose for the ball & wins the 50/50s. He executes all the intangibles: will set picks, dive on the floor for loose balls, provide great energy & excellent leadership for the Eagles. Malik’s IQ and leadership are at such high level he is in essence a coach on the floor.
He is a sneaky athlete who is very fast & quick with very good lateral movement. Malik can dunk off one leg with either either hand & throw down alley oops, or go off 2 legs to dunk. We chatted with Malik regarding periods in his basketball development where he made the biggest jump in improvement & his work out regime. He says, “During the summer of my sophomore to junior season I made a jump where I learned to score more. Since the conclusion of our season in March I increased my strength, added a mid range pull up & gotten better at coming off back screens or cuts then going straight up for my shot. My increased strength helped me finish better with both hands. I work on basketball 6 days a week mixing in strength & conditioning while I stretch before & after workouts. At IC we run 2-3 times weekly, running a mile on Tuesday & hills on Thursday before working on drills & pick up games. Plyos help me greatly, & we do resistance band training, power skips, box jumps, & jump rope during the week on various days. Each day I work on all of my basketball drills & I put up 300-500 shots per day with the shooting gun. This fall I want to get a quicker release on my shot, work on my moves off 3 dribbles, right hand finishing, & explosion off one leg. I believe I have several more improvement spurts before the end of the season.” We firmly believe Malik still has a lot of upside left & he will achieve it due to his great work ethic, intelligence & athletic build & symmetry. In his downtime Malik likes to study John Wall, Russell Westbrook & Michael Conley of the NBA.
In the classroom Malik is an excellent student & carries a 3.1 plus GPA. He is interested in a Business Major in college. Malik is very close to his parents & considers his mom & dad as his role models. He is being recruited by D2 Concordia who have offered & he is receiving interest from D3, D2 & D1 schools. We asked Malik about the upcoming season, “We have a big addition in 6’7″ 2019 D1 prospect Khahil Willaims & some nice role players. We will cause problems in the MIAA B & I am looking forward to this season.” The MIAA B Red Division consists of 5 schools: Annapolis Area Christian HS, The Severn School, St. Marys, Chapelgate Christian, & Indian Creek. The MIAA B Black Division consists of: St. Paul’s School, The Friends School, Archbishop Curley, The Gerstell Academy & St. Johns Catholic Prep Academy. The Indians play each MIAA Division school & several upper tier BCL Schools this season. We will be prviding coverage to Indian Creek, The MIAA A, MIAA B, & BCL Conferences this season with live game reports & player articles thru the conclusion of each teams season.
Indian Creek HS is somewhat remote, but close to Annapolis, MD & approximately 25 miles outside of Baltimore, MD & Washington, DC. IC is in between the Washington Post & Baltimore Sun newspapers who each cover high school basketball. While Indian Creek does get some coverage, the MIAA B Divisions deserve more. The Eagles play in the MIAA B Red Division, & many college coaches focus on the MIAA A & BCL Conferences. These factors contribute to Malik’s recruitment. What we do know is his recruitment will pick up this season & whichever college Malik chooses to attend, he will have great success in the classroom & hardwood.