This is the big question that Cats fans should be asking themselves at this point in the season. When doing research on this topic, I came across a tweet from Jeff Borzello of ESPN.
In Kentucky’s four losses, Malik Monk is shooting 42.6% from field and 27.8% from 3 (49.6/41.2 on the season).
He’s 0-for-5 at the half.
– Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 5, 2017
This was tweeted at halftime, so if we go through and update his percentages, Monk is shooting 40% from the field and 30.2% from 3.
It is no secret that this team’s offense runs through Malik Monk. Without him, the Cats would have very little offense at all. Can the Cats win when Malik is not having his best game? The answer is yes, but could they beat a good team without Monk? That, as of right now, is a no. Kentucky’s best win, North Carolina in Vegas, Malik Monk scored 47 points in one of the more impressive shooting performances of recent memory. This allowed Kentucky to win by 3, proving Monk had to have a great game for Kentucky to win. In the games Kentucky has lost, Monk has been a non-factor in all of them, except UCLA.
Is Monk Kentucky’s most important player? Three weeks ago, I think I would have said no and instead answered De’Aaron Fox, but Kentucky proved that they CAN beat a team without Fox. The catalyst in that game? Malik Monk.
The key for Monk to have a good game, is for all of his surrounding pieces to work. When Willis is hitting outside shots, Bam is playing well in the paint and Briscoe’s layups are falling, it opens up Monk to have more opportunities for one-on-one. When this happens this team becomes a lot harder to beat.
What do you all think? Can Kentucky win without Malik Monk? Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter @GormleyKSR.
Can Kentucky win without Malik Monk having a good game?
– Sam Gormley (@GormleyKSR) February 5, 2017