The Sporting News released its two midseason All-American teams today and the website named De’Aaron Fox a first-team selection.
Fox is joined by UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Villanova’s Josh Hart, Kansas’ Frank Mason III, and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan on the first team.
De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky, Freshman guard
Key stats: 16.7 ppg, 6.4 apg, 47.1 FG pct
Overview: There are going to be people who’d prefer if there’s a Kentucky freshman guard on the first team that it be Malik Monk. But the problem with that is that Fox is Kentucky’s best and most influential player, the one who makes the team functional and the one who makes it dangerous. As he has discovered his jump shot appears to have limits – he still is only 4 of 32 on 3-pointers, but his shot from 16 feet has been falling – Fox has only become more efficient. And no one, not even Ball, advances the ball as quickly and punishes opposing defenses in transition at the same level. [The Sporting News]
Then on the second team, Malik Monk is one of the five honorees, along with Dwayne Bacon of Florida State, North Carolina’s Joel Berry, Duke’s Luke Kennard, and Johnathan Motley of Baylor.
Malik Monk, Kentucky, Freshman guard
Key stats: 21.7 ppg, 50.4 pct FG, 41.0 3-PT pct
Overview: Monk has been an indispensable scorer for the Wildcats since he delivered 23 points on the big stage at Madison Square Garden in the Champions Classic win over Michigan State. Monk was such an overwhelming offensive force in high school, and he has such an easy time creating a shot, that it has been a challenge to teach him proper shot selection. His coaches also have wanted him to attack the rim more. After earning two or fewer free throws in six of his first 10 games, he’s gotten five or more in five of the past six. He’s learning. That’s a problem for everyone else. [The Sporting News]
Kentucky is the only program with two midseason All-American selections.
Meanwhile, Josh Hart took the midseason Player of the Year award and Coach of the Year went to Scott Drew at Baylor.