One name on the recruiting spectrum that has blown up since the spring is Class of 2015 recruit Malik Beasley. Beasley, who plays on the AAU circuit for the Georgia Stars, has had an impressive start through EYBL sessions No. 1 and No. 2. He is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Alpharetta, Georgia, attending St. Francis (GA) High School with a very, very good skillset that a lot of scouts are beginning to pay attention to.
Some of the things that really impress me about Beasley are that he is really explosive on the break, that he has an arsenal of moves in which he can get to the basket very quickly, can shoot from behind the arc whether off of a screen or waiting to get the ball, and he is also a really good slasher that has a good mid-range jump shot to boot.
When Beasley shoots the ball, he does so with a smooth release and motion. He's also a very good passer in transition and can run the outlet very well, too.
What Malik Beasley does need to do is add strength and be more aggressive in the rebounding department. Also, working on his jump shot will be key for someone at the guard position like him. There are several more things he could do to improve as a player, but one additional thing that I would want to see him do is guard the point guard position, because I think he can really exceed at that. This is due in large part to the fact that his already a plus defender when he guards opposing shooting guards, so I think that can translate from the two to the one.
Beasley holds 37 offers right now, and some of those teams include the St. John's Red Storm, Seton Hall Pirates, Maryland Terrapins, Southern Methodist Mustangs, and Auburn Tigers among many others. At the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Beasley said that he plans to go on a long road trip and visit several schools, and then will cut his list to 10 after the month of July ends.
Beasley was asked what he is looking for in a school, and his answer did not differentiate from a common opinion held amongst most prospective players.
"I will be basing my decision off of the head coach, and if it is a winning program. I really want to get to The Big Dance and I want a program that will develop me as a player after my college career."
On a personal level, my relationship with Beasley is a good one, and when I talk to him, he shows himself to be a very introverted person that likes to work hard and succeed in life. Soft spoken is another trait that I would attrbute to Beasley. His work ethic, in my opinion, could be compared to Kevin Durant's, as Beasley seems to eat, sleep, and breathe the sport of basketball.
The success he had in the spring is translating well to the summer. And despite the success that he found, Beasley does not appear willing to let it go to waste.
If you follow Beasley on Twitter, you would see that he is nothing more than a gym rat. While the NBA Draft was going on, he was in the gym. And when you watch him and see him play more, you can tell that he stays in weight room, too. During the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Beasley was asked about how he has been blowing up during the spring, and his answer was both warm and humble.
"I had a great spring and all the hard work is paying off," said Beasley,.
Beasley was invited to the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, and I had a chance to see him play. And when I got the chance to watch him, he was really succeeding at shooting the mid-range jumper.
The improvement of Beasley will continue and the expectations he has set for himself are high, but now, the multiple people that have been exposed to him could have expectations that meet that level as well. He just does small things that get people talking, and a lot of scouts that I have talked to really like the amount of growth that he has made over the course of time.
For him, putting countless hours in the gym to get to where he wants to be is more important than watching other people get drafted. He has a good mentality, and it shows on and of the court.
On the whole, people respect his game, and respect him as a person. When you work as hard as he does, then you can get the admiration that he has gotten from so many people within the circuit. I believe that Beasley will be a good college player, and he will be able to make some type of impact at the school he decides to commit to.
In regards to that, Beasley will be committing on November 26, his birthday. Continue to watch him, and do not sleep on him because his stock will continue to rise.