Malik Monk scored ten points or more in every game this season, until Kentucky traveled to Texas A&M. Over the last two games he’s scored eight points and made just 3 of 17 shots. The cold streak followed 68 minutes of basketball where Monk scored 60 points.
“I’ve just got to focus more and be way more patient and just listen to coach.” Monk said after the game he has to find a better way to prepare without a pregame shoot-around. “I’m going to have to get up by myself and do something, something. I can’t play like this no more or we’re going to lose.”
“There’s only one person that can work through that — him,” John Calipari said after today’s game.
Coach Cal can’t coach him to make shots, however, he can put him in situations to succeed. At the end of the game he tried to get him to the free throw line, just so Monk could see the ball go through the net. “He missed those too.”
If Monk isn’t hitting, he has to find other ways to contribute. He did not today, adding only two rebounds and one assist with two turnovers.
“Malik can’t make a shot, a free throw, a layup or a dunk,” Calipari said. “Now my question is, what are you doing to help us win anyway? What are you doing rebounding? What are you doing on defense? That’s what a player needs to do.
“Sometimes you’re not on your A-game. You’re struggling. When you struggle, you got to do other things to help your team win.”
Monk’s teammates are trying to get him involved to get him out of a slump, a slump that will not last forever.
“Our job is to get the ball in the paint, get touches and create open shots. Today Malik had an off day.” Isaiah Briscoe said Kenny Payne tells him before every game, “just make the game easy for others.”
If the rest of the team isn’t hitting shots, Briscoe and De’Aaron Fox will gladly assume that responsibility.
“Sometimes somebody else has to make an outside shot,” added Fox. “Malik won’t have 30 points every game. We both came up big, but next game it could definitely be Malik.”
Even though he only scored two points, Monk surpassed Brandon Knight on the freshman single-season scoring list with 658 points. He needs 63 more points to break Jamal Murray’s record, a record that could easily be broken if he fixes his scoring problem.