As Jamal Murray left early for the NBA last year, 5-star blue chip prospect Malik Monk took his place in Lexington. It’s truly “succeed and proceed,” followed by “reloading, not rebuilding.”
Kentucky is a de facto NBDL franchise and I mean that as a compliment; I always have. Being the first and foremost NBA Developmental Program is the defining characteristic of Coach John Calipari’s recruiting pitch. We’ve been saying it for years- Coach Cal is a social trail blazer in that regard.
He’s developed a system that both a.) works for everyone involved and b.) flies in the face of the NCAA’s hypocritical, broken system. It makes Calipari and the Kentucky a lightning rod for criticism, but you know who else is extremely polarizing?
Everyone who’s ever challenged the establishment and first brought change to the status quo.
Kentucky’s NBA assembly line is showcased every single year in the McDonald’s All-American Game. The Kentucky signees in the MCDAAG this year will be in the NBA Draft Lottery next year.
So if UK is a quasi-NBA D-League, then the MCDAAG is their D-League. Before this gets to be 1.) way too meta and 2.) an alphabet soup of acronyms, let’s move on to profiling each blue chip prospect in Big Blue’s latest freshmen class. Today, we do a NBA Draft stock report on Malik Monk. At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Monk is a long and athletic guard that can both shoot it and make plays off the dribble.
“I love Monk,” added Dick Vitale.
“I think the 47-point game to me, to me, was without a doubt in my 38 years at ESPN, the best performance ever, ever for me, by a freshman in a major game. Scoring 47 points when your team needed every one to win, away on a neutral court, national television, and to make every big shot was so special.”
“He’s got to be a little more consistent, but I think right after that game, I may be wrong, but I believe he came back about 1 for 9 against Louisville shooting the three. A little more inconsistency there, but he’s explosive.”
Monk is averaging 21.7 points per game, ranked 18th nationally in scoring, second among all freshmen and first in the Southeastern Conference. No John Calipari-coached player has ever averaged more than 21.2 points for an entire season.
He’s scored in double figures in every game this season and has 11 games of 20 points or more, including a Kentucky freshman record 47 points vs. North Carolina in December and another 34-point outburst at Ole Miss.
He’s made 58 3-pointers through 19 games, ahead of Jamal Murray (50) at this point in the season when he went on to break the freshman record with 113 3-pointers a season ago.
Malik Monk NBA Draft Mocksourcing
Chicago Now 7th Philadelphia
NBA Draft.net 8th Sacramento
Draft Express 7th Minnesota
Walter Football 7th Dallas
NBA Draft Room 6th Philadelphia
KENTUCKY RECRUITING CLASS PROFILES
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, Bold and the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication, appears regularly as a guest on CGTN America, WGN CLTV News and KOZN 1620 The Zone.