UK Men's Basketball

Blue Review: Instant analysis from Kentucky’s win over Florida

Malik Monk: I knew I just had to attack

Kentucky guard Malik Monk talks about his 33-point effort, including 30 in the second half, that carried UK to a 76-66 win over Florida.
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Kentucky guard Malik Monk talks about his 33-point effort, including 30 in the second half, that carried UK to a 76-66 win over Florida.

Instant analysis from No. 11 Kentucky’s 76-66 win over No. 13 Florida in Rupp Arena:

How the game was won

Malik Monk scored 30 of his 33 points in the second half and Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 15 rebounds as No 11 Kentucky rallied from 52-44 down to beat Florida 76-66.

Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins talks about the second half that led to the 76-66 win over Florida.

Game balls

1. Malik Monk. Had three points at halftime. After taking game over in second half, had 33 at game’s end. When the freshman gets on one of those offensive rolls, it is scintillating entertainment.

2. Bam Adebayo. Coming off 22 points and 15 rebounds at Missouri, the UK big man went for 18 and 15 against Florida. Keep this up and his name is going to start moving back up those 2017 NBA mock drafts.

3. Kentucky homeboy grit. In their penultimate game in Rupp Arena, homegrown UK seniors Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins oozed fight. Bullitt East’s Willis had nine rebounds. Madison Central’s Hawkins had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

4. KeVaughn Allen. Malik Monk wasn’t the only No. 5 from Arkansas in the game who was dialed in. Florida’s Vaughn, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard from Little Rock, hit five of 11 treys en route to 24 points.

5. Rupp Arena crowd. “Big-game” Rupp is as good — and as loud — as it gets.

Running suicide drills

1. Florida fouling. The Gators committed 22 fouls and UK stayed in the game early from the foul line.

2. Kentucky turnovers. UK’s 12 first-half miscues were a problem. The two in the second half, however, were more like it.

Key number(s)

48 to 30. Outrebounded 54-29 in the 88-66 loss at Florida on Feb. 4, Kentucky won the battle of the boards by 18 on Saturday

After his second consecutive 15-rebound game, Kentucky center Bam Adebayo said better eating habits have improved his game.

Cat-mosphere

▪ Bam Adebayo was out getting up early shots before the game. The UK all-female choral group, Paws and Listen, came out to practice the national anthem. Bam stopped shooting until they finished.

Coach Joe B. Hall, Kevin Grevey, Bob Guyette, Mike Flynn, Jerry Hale, Merion Haskins and Jack Givens from UK’s 1975 NCAA Tournament runner-up team were recognized on the floor during the first half.

▪ The crowd of 24,431 was loud.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari talks about the 33-point performance by Malik Monk and his team's fight in 76-66 win over Florida.

Up next

It will be Senior Night for UK’s native sons Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis as well as Canadian import Mychal Mulder when the Wildcats play host to Vanderbilt (16-13, 9-7 SEC).

Know your foe

1. Kentucky rode stellar guard play to an 87-81 victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville on Jan. 10. Isaiah Briscoe had 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists; De’Aaron Fox scored 22 points and claimed five boards; Malik Monk added 18 points.

2. After Saturday’s 77-48 rout of Mississippi State, Vanderbilt has won four in a row since suffering an embarrassing 72-52 loss at lowly Missouri. Also included in the win streak were victories over South Carolina and at Tennessee.

3. Vanderbilt 7-foot-1 senior Luke Kornet, the son of former Lexington Catholic standout Frank Kornet and WLEX-TV reporter Tracy Kornet, is averaging 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. He had 16 points and eight rebounds against UK in this season’s prior meeting.

Asked why Bam Adebayo is rebounding better, Kentucky guard Malik Monk said the freshman center doesn't like to run in practice. When Bam doesn't rebound, the team has to run.

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