Forward Malik Hall is one of four freshman joining the Spartan basketball team this season, joining guards Rocket Watts and Steven Izzo and forward Julius Marble as newcomers on the team.
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Hall figures to be a key rotational piece for the green and white this season. In last night’s win over Albion, Hall saw 14:13 of playing time, totaling 9 points on 3-4 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 2 steals. No matter what his role is this season, Hall ultimately just wants what’s best for the team, placing his trust in head coach Tom Izzo.
“I just try to do my best to help out the team as much as I can, no matter if I get the spot or not,” Hall said. “It’s all about us winning. Coach has been doing this way longer than I have, so he knows what’s best for the team and what’s going to be best for the program. I’m just trying my hardest to do what I can for the team.”
Izzo reiterated after the game that he will be counting on Hall, Marble and sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr. to play and contribute off the bench this season, and that Hall’s 6 foot, 7 inch, 215 pound frame suits him best for game action right off the bat.
“I thought he did some really good things, thought he competed,” Izzo said. “I think he too is physically gifted enough ... he overdribbled a bit, I think he would agree with that. But, in your first game, in a big arena, we just tried to get Malik (Hall), Julius (Marble), and Marcus (Bingham Jr.). Those three guys are going to have to play minutes. I thought Malik, at times, showed that he could be the most ready right now mostly because of the physical gifts.”
To be able to finally get on the court was something Hall had been waiting on for a long time. He debuted midway through the first half against Albion, sharing the front court with Bingham Jr. and sophomore forward Gabe Brown.
“It was a great feeling, honestly,” Hall said. “I dreamed about it since I was a kid, playing at a big school with a lot of fans, being the number one program in the country. It was an amazing feeling just to walk out there and see all the people that are in there.”
Continuing on, Hall wants to soak everything in, eager to help the team in any way possible.
“I’m just trying to pick up as many things as I can in practice,” Hall said. “Whenever someone is talking, I just try to listen to what everyone is saying. Pick up as much as I can as fast as I can so I can help the team.”
We are less than a week away from the start of the regular season, as the team gets ready to travel to New York to play No. 2 Kentucky on Nov. 5. Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m.