Malik Monk Discusses Kentucky Decision

    Malik Monk, a Kentucky signee, discussed his decision to play for the Wildcats over other schools such as his home-state Arkansas Razorbacks.

    March 29, 2016


    Malik Monk, a Kentucky signee, discussed his decision to play for the Wildcats over other schools such as his home-state Arkansas Razorbacks.


    Since arriving at Kentucky in 2009, head coach John Calipari has fielded a revolving door of talent that has revitalized the Wildcats program, made four Final Fours, and even won a national championship (2012).

    So when it came down to choosing a school for five-star recruit Malik Monk, the decision to play for Kentucky was relatively easy, though not for the historical reasons some may think. Sure, playing for a powerhouse program that regularly competes for championships is a major lure, but the 6’3 shooting guard has his mind on one thing: money.

    When asked what put Kentucky over the top of everyone else by Campus Insiders’ Ray Crawford, Monk responded candidly, “All the players that’s in the league right now making a bunch of money.”

    Monk, who played at Bentonville High School in Bentonville, AR, was speaking of Calipari’s reputation of helping players get to the NBA. It’s something Coach Cal has done for 18 former Wildcats, including first overall picks John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns. Calipari successfully uses those now-NBA stars’ successes as his recruiting pitch to attract players to come to Lexington.

    Monk’s reasoning that Kentucky – and Calipari specifically – send players to the pros will toss a little gas on a smoldering fire. Back in November, former Arkansas Razorback – and Arkansas native – Bobby Portis subtweeted Monk’s decision saying that he made it to the pros by staying loyal to his home-state school. 

    Portis is now in the NBA playing for the Chicago Bulls, and Monk will soon be off to Lexington and eventually the pros himself. Different routes, same destination. 

    Wearing the blue-and-white of Kentucky and playing in front of 24,000 fans at Rupp Arena doesn’t even seem to be a big deal to Monk. Playing for Calipari does.

    “The greats that come through coach Cal, not even at Kentucky but wherever coach Cal is at, like UMass and Memphis,” Monk continued. “I’m just trying to be one of those.”

    Monk is ranked as the nation’s No. 6 overall player and No. 1 shooting guard. He’s part of another stellar Wildcats class that features four players ranked in the top 15.

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