Kentucky’s freshman guard Malik Monk continued hauling in All-America honors on Monday, most notably the second-team All-America honors from the Sporting News.
The Sporting News is one of four “major” NCAA-recognized All-America teams that the NCAA uses for its consensus All-America teams. The other three are the Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Monk was joined on the Sporting News All-America Second Team by Luke Kennard (Duke), Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga), Dillon Brooks (Oregon) and Josh Jackson (Kansas).
The Sporting News honor marks the third All-America selection for Monk on Monday. He was named to USA Today’s second team as well as NBC Sports’ second team. Freshman teammate De’Aaron Fox made USA Today’s third team.
It’s the third straight season a Wildcat has made one of the Sporting News All-America teams. Willie Cauley-Stein (first team) and Karl-Anthony Towns (third team) made it in 2015, while Tyler Ulis (first team) was selected last season.
Monk electrified crowds with his prolific scoring outbursts and high-flying violent dunks throughout the season. He averaged 21.2 points per game, edging South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell for the scoring title by a fraction of a point. He is the fourth freshman in the history of the SEC to win the regular-season scoring title.
He is ranked among the top 20 nationally in scoring and second among all freshmen. No John Calipari-coached player has ever averaged more than 21.2 points for an entire season (Dajuan Wagner at Memphis in 2002). He’s scored in double figures in all but one game this season and has 17 games of 20 points or more, including a Kentucky freshman record 47 points vs. North Carolina in December.
The freshman from Lepanto, Arkansas, is the only freshman in program history with four 30-point games, and six times this season he has scored at least 20 points in a half.