Former Kentucky star and Charlotte Hornets’ rookie Malik Monk is starting to heat up in the NBA.
The 6-3, 200-pound guard poured in a career-high 25 points in a 126-121 win over the Bucks last Wednesday.
Monk sank a whopping 5 threes and pumped in 18 of his points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
“He’s a shot-maker,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of Monk to the Charlotte Observer.
“He has a good feel for the game, a high IQ,” added Clifford to CBS Sports. “He passes the ball a lot better than I realized, and he has a lot more of a pick-and-roll game than I realized. His defense is already getting better.”
His former Kentucky coach John Calipari isn’t surprised by Monk’s early success in the NBA.
“With Malik you’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique,” said Calipari.
On the season, Monk, the No. 11 pick in the 2017 Draft, is averaging and impressive 10 points a game in only 21.9 minutes of action.
He led Kentucky in scoring last season as a freshman, averaging 19.8 points and leading the Wildcats to a 32-6 record and the 2017 NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8.
The explosive Monk was the SEC’s second-leading scorer, pouring in 47 points against UNC in December, and dropping 30 or more points in four games last season.
For his incredible freshman campaign, he was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
Monk’s 754 points were the fourth-highest in a single season in Kentucky history, behind only Dan Issel, Jodie Meeks, and Jamal Mashburn.
He was also the second-highest scoring freshman in the nation last year.
ESPN’s No. 9 player in the 2016 class, Monk averaged 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists as a senior at Bentonville High School (AR), leading the team to the state championship game.
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