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6’3″ 200 lbs G
38 G | 32.1 MPG | 19.8 PPG | 45.0 FG% | 39.7 3FG% | 104 3FGM | 82.2 FT% | 2.5 RPG | 2.3 APG
• En route to becoming the third freshman in Kentucky history to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, Monk certainly did his part to further enrich the program’s heady backcourt pedigree. He established a new Wildcat rookie record this past campaign by tallying 754 total points, a mark that also ranked fourth on the team’s all-time single-season scoring chart, behind Dan Issel, Jodie Meeks, and Jamal Mashburn, who all went pro. This past spring, Monk was also tabbed a Second-Team All-SEC selection, and took home the Jerry West Award, given annually to the nation’s top shooting guard. Prior to Monk, John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012) were the only two other first-year Kentucky players to claim the SEC’s highest individual prize.
• No player in the SEC this past season logged more minutes (1,218) than Monk, and in that time, he put his prodigious scoring touch to use, amassing more points (754) than any other player in the conference. The name of Monk’s offensive game – primarily – was perimeter shooting. Not only was he prolific from outside the arc, pacing the SEC with 104 triples, he was efficient as well, leading the conference with a 39.7 3-point percentage. On plenty of occasions, he showed he was more than capable of connecting from NBA range. Only twice in 38 appearances did Monk, who turned 19 in February, finish with fewer than 10 points. He posted 19 20-point games, and four 30-point showings.
• The highlight individual outing of Monk’s auspicious season came relatively early, on December 17th in Las Vegas. That night, against then seventh-ranked North Carolina, he exploded for 47 points, setting another Kentucky freshman record. Monk converted 18 of 28 shots overall, and 8 of 12 3-point tries. His final 3-pointer of the tilt came with under 20 seconds to go, and sent the Wildcats to an eventual 103-100 victory.
Did You Know?:
A native of Lepanto, Arkansas, located along the Mississippi River in the northeast corner of the state, Monk wrote a recent piece for the Players Tribune praising the town of only a few thousand people for greatly influencing his identity, and shaping his basketball path. In the article, he described the difficulty he faced – and subsequent backlashed he received – from choosing to enroll in Kentucky, rather than Arkansas, his home state’s SEC member school.
Quote of Note:
“Malik is a special talent. You’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique. What I love about Malik is that, as the season went on, he learned how to help our team win by doing more than just score. He became an efficient player who I believe will make an immediate impact at the next level.” – Kentucky head coach John Calipari, ukathletics.com (April 4/4/17)
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