There are matchups in KSR’s BBN Jam Tournament that will force you to make a difficult choice between some of your favorite players. This first round four/five matchup will certainly strike a cord.
For a certain era of Kentucky fan, Tayshaun Prince is the GOAT. Smooth as silk inside and out, he did it all. His running mate on the 2002 is as gritty as they come. As a kid I always assumed the term “ball-hawk” was named after Hawkins, the most relentless and pesky defender of point guards in America.
On the other hand, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are two of the best scoring guards John Calipari has coached at Kentucky. Monk’s 47-point performance against North Carolina in Las Vegas might be the most memorable regular season game of Calipari’s tenure. Fox recorded just one of three triple-doubles in school history before he torched Lonzo Ball for 39 points in the Sweet 16. If not for one fateful shot by
Drew Franklin Luke Maye, No. 9 was within reach in 2017.
TALE OF THE TAPE
The matchup between point guards is one of the best you’ll find in the first round of the BBN Jam Tournament. Fox is fast but Hawkins could pick any person’s pocket. He did not always stuff the stat sheet, but he made every person on the court better. The only thing that could slow down Hawkins was asthma.
This game ultimately comes down to who can catch fire first, Prince or Monk. Prince was an All-American in 2001. The lengthy lefty’s arms were longer than Stretch Armstrong’s. He could block a shot, then post you up on the other end or bury a three in your face. He did not need extra extension on his shot to hit his fifth three against North Carolina.
As great as Prince was at scoring, he does not hold a candle to Monk’s 2017 season. Few do. Monk’s 754 points are he fourth-most ever recorded by a Wildcat in a single-season, trailing only Dan Issel, Jodie Meeks and Jamal Mashburn (who he would have caught, if not for Luke Maye).
Despite the volume, you probably remember Monk as a streaky shooter who could get hot in a hurry. He steadily scored, it’s just that when he got hot, it was transcendent. No matter who you cheered for, you had to just sit back and marvel at the performance.
Monk put on a show for Brent Musburger in the legendary broadcaster’s final game. He drilled seven three-pointers, and a game-tying 18-footer that forced overtime, to score 37 points in a win at Rupp Arena.
Choosing just one team to advance feels like an impossible task, but it’s one you must accept. Can you handle this responsibility? Who do you think most deserves to move on in this 4/5 battle?
Only one can survive and advance in #BBNJam. Who will it be? https://kentuckysportsradio.com/basketball-2/bbn-jam-round-one-2017-fox-monk-vs-2002-prince-hawkins/