basketball Edit

Vanderbilt lands Malik Presley

After signing three class of 2023 recruits on early signing day, Vanderbilt's staff has continued to make its mark late in the recruiting cycle.

Malik Presley became the fifth member of Vanderbilt's class on Friday.

Malik Presley committed to Vanderbilt on Friday. (John Gutierrez/Special to American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Malik Presley committed to Vanderbilt on Friday. (John Gutierrez/Special to American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK) (John Gutierrez/Special to American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Presley's recruitment looked to be in hand this fall when he released a final list of Texas, Texas A&M and Arizona State,. The 2023 recruit always had an eye on Vanderbilt, though.

“I had actually been watching them throughout the whole season, I know they had a rough start but they really picked it up towards the end and that showed a lot of potential and that’s what really drew my interest," Presley said.

“Vandy, honestly they came in kinda late in my recruitment. I had already actually finalized my top three, I had Arizona State, Texas, and A&M as my top three and then Vandy kinda slid in. Coach (Daniel) Miller did a really good job communicating with Stack and making the official visit happen,” the 6-foot-6 wing said.

The highly-regarded athlete visited Vanderbilt the weekend of April 15th and made a quick decision from there.

“Once I got out there, it was just the environment, the diversity of the campus, there’s so many things that play into it, I just knew it was the right fit for me.”

“It was amazing, they were really good to me and my family, I actually learned a lot about what Vanderbilt has to offer and what direction they were looking to develop me as a player, " Presley added. "Really they just check all the boxes from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint.”

Presley's high school coach, Daniel Miller, thinks that Presley will give plenty back to Vanderbilt. When asked about his message for Stackhouse, Miller raved about Presley. On and off the floor.

"I just think he's getting a guy who's gonna bring that energy and that passion each and every day, he's a very athletic wing but you're playing in the SEC where there's a lot of athletic wings," Miller said. "What I believe is gonna seperate Malik, why I believe he's gonna make it is his will."

The newest Vanderbilt commit has high aspirations for his career as a Commodore.

“I want to win an SEC Championship no matter how long it takes, I’m loyal to Vandy, I gave Coach Stackhouse my word that I’m gonna work hard for him, the fans, the whole campus, I’m ready. Vandy, I’m ready."

Breaking down Presley's game:

Within seconds of popping on Presley's tape, he sticks out. So do his highlights at the rim.

It's clear that Presley possesses a level of practical athleticism that transcends his peers at the high-school level.

That athleticism and Presley's ability to get downhill and put pressure on the rim provide plenty of highlights as well as the identity of Presley's offensive game. The 6-foot-6 swingman could be characterized as an athletic slasher with guard skills that allow him to get to the rim off the bounce.

The lefty forward is also regarded as a solid spot-up shooter that can be a floor spacer if he's hitting shots at a high level. Remaining a threat from 3-point range and opening up driving lanes will be a key to Presley's earning early playing time.

Presley's defensive versatility will also add to his case for early playing time.

The class of 2023 recruit described his game in an interview with

“I’m a slasher, 3-and-D guy, I can get up and down the floor, I can get up above the rim, I can play defense and I can pretty much guard 1-5 positions," Presley said.

The next steps in his development are clear, as well.

"Definitely wanted to develop my outside shot more, that’s one thing that Coach Stackhouse really emphasized. Really just getting my body ready, I’m looking to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle throughout the summer, I’m gonna be moving in June 2nd and getting straight to work," the 6-foot-6 wing said.

Class impact:

While most college basketball coaches have zig'd, Stackhouse and staff have zag'd. In an era defined by the transfer portal, Stackhouse has brought in back-to-back five-man high-school classes.

Presley is the fifth addition to Vanderbilt's high-upside class and is the player that attracted the most high-major interest of anyone in the class.

The 6-foot-6 guard says he envisions playing the two or the three spot at the next level, that will put him in competition with Jason Rivera-Torres and JaQualon Roberts at a spot that will be largely open after Evan Taylor's departure.

Presley, along with Roberts, stacks up near the top of any list of pure athletes that Vanderbilt has recruited in recent memory. If he can pair that athleticism with high-level scoring from the perimeter he has a chance to be an effective piece of the puzzle as a freshman and a key part of this class moving forward.