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Calipari said benching Monk if he’s not rebounding or defending was Monk’s idea

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Malik Monk has gone two straight games without a rebound, and after the LSU win on Tuesday, John Calipari hinted that his star scorer might find himself on the bench if that trend continues. Today, Cal said it was actually Malik who suggested Calipari bench him if his bad habits continue.

“Well I said to him, you’re not rebounding, you’re not defending the way you should. How are we dealing with this? He said, ‘Coach, tell me, and if I don’t do it, sit me.’ He said it to me. I didn’t say it to him, and I told the team what he said. ‘Anybody else want to have that comment?’ You have other guys that were like, ‘No’. You know, but that’s how they should feel. If I’m not doing my job, sit me out.”

Can Kentucky afford to bench its best scorer?

“We can afford to sit anybody.”

Well then. Malik and Kentucky will be tested tomorrow by an Alabama squad that ranks 17th in the country in total rebounds per game, with 40. Kentucky’s right there with them at 40.3, but as I pointed out earlier this week, in the past five games, Kentucky’s rebounding has slipped. Facing a team with big guards, Calipari knows his backcourt can’t afford another lackadaisical rebounding effort.

“It’s our guards that got to stick their noses in there and go rebound. This team [Alabama] is going to shoot it and send four guys to the rim. That’s what they do. And if your guards don’t rebound, it’s going to be ugly. If your guards do rebound, we can fly because you’re giving up something by sending them to the rim. And if we do what we’re supposed to, then we fly.”

“It’s going to be a really hard game for us to win down there the way they’re playing and how hard they rebound the ball,” Cal added. “It’s exactly the medicine we need to say ‘Where are we right now rebounding the ball?’ Because you’re going to find out, similar to what Florida did, shoot it and go get it.”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

20 Comments for Calipari said benching Monk if he’s not rebounding or defending was Monk’s idea

  1. TBW3011
    1:37 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    Monks rebounding is embarrassing, but the biggest issue is effort, and it isn’t just Malik. He doesn’t rebound, because he doesn’t play hard. Same reason he doesn’t defend. Same reason Fox guards like a statue. Same reason Bam doesn’t guard, etc. Past time to play hard or sit on the bench. Way past time. The bench should’ve been used as a motivator long before now. Hoping it isn’t too late.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      1:52 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      “We can afford to sit anybody.” It isn’t too late. In fact, it is the perfect time to use the bench as motivation.

    • TBW3011
      5:43 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      I actually think nipping a problem in the bud before it bites you in the butt is the perfect time. Weeks ago IMO. That said, it can’t hurt to try it now. The effort is unacceptable.

  2. secrick
    1:54 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    If he doesn’t get a rebound in the first half Sat. then sit him out the 2nd half win or lose.

    • catsarerunnin
      2:00 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      Oh yes by all means risk another possible loss and lower seeding in the postseason by benching the leading scorer just to prove a point.

    • secrick
      2:26 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      6 seed or 8 seed doesn’t matter and if the kid is not going to hustle it doesn’t matter , we can’t win. You sound like you might want to give him a PARTICIPATION TROPHY.

    • catsarerunnin
      2:46 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      No I want to win. Cal won’t bench his players just to prove a point if it means losing a game.

    • TBW3011
      5:45 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      We all want to win. You are missing the big picture. We are NOT going to win with a continued lack of effort. And too much of this is being directed at Monk. He has plenty company in the lack of effort department.

    • catsarerunnin
      6:32 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      I am looking at the big picture. The tournament is the big picture. This is a team that’s lost 3 of 5 and it’s February. Seeding is more important than making a statement by benching. I see what you’re saying but that’s more for December. Not February IMO.

    • 2Dogs
      3:56 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      The point being Monk is the most athletic person on the court and should be getting a few rebounds per game instead of leaking out for a runout every time. I can actually live with him not getting a rebound if he was just in there trying to grab one, which he doesn’t do. I heard comparisons to Russell Westbrook at the start of the year and Westbrook is usually good for 10 boards per game.

  3. Trinity45
    1:58 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    Sounds to me like the kid has a good head on his shoulder. Personally this idea that someone is too important to bench is crazy. When Joe B bench his starters in the second half of a tournament game, he sent a message and it was received loud and clear.

    • RealCatsFan
      2:24 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      Yep! Pitino did the same thing in the SEC Tourney championship with Antoine Walker, and yes, we lost the game. But that lit a fire under them, and I think that is what drove them on to the championship that year. Take note, catsarerunnin. (yes, I do realize that in 96 we had a #1 seed locked up, but it still made the difference in the long run.) These kids need to be reminded who’s boss now and then.

    • TBW3011
      5:47 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      Personally, I’d argue the best players are the ones it’s MOST important to bench when they don’t give effort.

  4. ryan1723
    2:06 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    Sounds to me like a coach that wants to show off this kid as a great teammate. For a guy that plays a relatively selfish brand of basketball (and that’s not a bad thing), this would be a selfless comment. So I don’t believe at all that he said this, but it looks great to NBA scouts.

    • RealCatsFan
      2:25 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      What would look great to NBA scouts would be for Malik to absolutely bust his ass in every remaining game this season. They expect guards to rebound and play some defense in the NBA too.

    • secrick
      2:27 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      RCF, You are so right.

  5. Jiminy Crickets
    4:14 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    For one, I do not believe Monk said this, and two its hard to believe any of the other guys would answer “no” to Cal if he asked them “If you’re not playing defense and rebounding, should you be benched?”.
    Cal is a master promoter, and he likely realized saying he would bench Monk, may not fit his 1-done recruiting style, so the best way out of it was to say Monk offered it.

    Just like Justus saying he has no ideas who’s in the Super Bowl, only to immediately talk about how great Brady is, or when Calipari never seems to know about any current topic or event, but seems to have a finger on the pulse of everything around it. UK has a fantastic PR team.

  6. AGSlater
    4:20 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    Cal would never bench an of his “stars”. Meanwhile he screams at Willis, Mulder, Gabriel, and others for doing 1 thing wrong or even just missing a shot

  7. DelrayCat
    4:45 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

    Monk is 6’2″ and leaks out every play. It is not all about desire or playing hard.

    • TBW3011
      5:49 pm February 10, 2017 Permalink

      Not all about that for sure, but our effort is pathetic. Personally, the rebounding thing is overblown IMO. I’m more concerned with at least 3 players giving little to no effort on defense.