UK Men's Basketball

Coaches name Kentucky’s Monk SEC Freshman of the Year. Two other Cats earn all-league honors.

Malik Monk says his bad game last week is bad news for opponents

Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who scored a season-low six points at Texas A&M, predicts he will bounce back in the SEC Tournament this week in Nashville.
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Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who scored a season-low six points at Texas A&M, predicts he will bounce back in the SEC Tournament this week in Nashville.

University of Kentucky guard Malik Monk was named Southeastern Conference freshman basketball player of the year on Tuesday, a distinction that’s becoming quite common during the John Calipari era.

Monk is the seventh Wildcat in the last eight seasons under Calipari and the eighth overall to win the league’s top freshman award.

Also Tuesday, Monk and fellow freshman guard De’Aaron Fox were name to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches. Freshman forward Bam Adebayo received Second Team recognition. Adebayo, Fox and Monk were named to the All-Freshman Team.

The league’s coaches named Sindarius Thornwell of South Carolina their player of the year and Florida’s Mike White their coach of the year.

Kentucky, the regular-season league champion, was the only school with as many as three players on First and Second teams.

All three UK players honored rank among the top 20 freshman scorers in program history. Monk is third with 656 points, Fox is 16th with 450 points and Adebayo is 20th with 411.

Monk averaged 21.2 points per game, edging Thornwell by .001 of a point for the regular-season scoring title. His points per game ranks in the top 20 nationally.

Kentucky guard Malik Monk talks about winning SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.

Fox led the league in assists per game at 5.0. He also ranked in the top 10 in scoring at 15.5 points per game. He is one of three freshmen in the country to average at least 15.5 points and 5.0 assists per game. Markelle Fultz of Washington and Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State are the others.

Adebayo scored in double figures in 24 of his last 28 games and averaged 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during league competition. He has a team-high five double-doubles with three coming among his last six games.

Kentucky opens SEC Tournament play Friday in Nashville, Tenn. UK will take on the winner of Thursday’s Georgia-Tennessee game on Friday at 1 p.m. EST. The game will air live on the SEC Network.

Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox says he is learning to control the pace of the game as his team heads into post-season play.

All-SEC

AWARDS

Coach of the Year: Mike White, Florida

Player of the Year: Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt

Freshman of the Year: Malik Monk, Kentucky

Sixth-Man of the Year: Canyon Barry, Florida

Defensive Player of the Year: Robert Williams, Texas A&M

FIRST TEAM

KeVaughn Allen, Florida

J.J. Frazier, Georgia

Yante Maten, Georgia

De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky

Malik Monk, Kentucky

Sebastian Saiz, Ole Miss

Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina

Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt

SECOND TEAM

Moses Kingsley, Arkansas

Kasey Hill, Florida

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky

Antonio Blakeney, LSU

Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State

Robert Hubbs III, Tennessee

Tyler Davis, Texas A&M

Robert Williams, Texas A&M

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Braxton Key, Alabama

Mustapha Heron, Auburn

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky

De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky

Malik Monk, Kentucky

Lamar Peters, Mississippi St.

Grant Williams, Tennessee

Robert Williams, Texas A&M

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Moses Kingsley, Arkansas

Kasey Hill, Florida

Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina

Robert Williams, Texas A&M

Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt

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