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Who’s a Better NBA Prospect: Fox or Monk?


Kentucky’s elite backcourt is starting better than last year’s talented Tyler Ulis-Jamal Murray duo.  Malik Monk can go for 30 at any given moment, but Dime Magazine thinks UK’s point guard is a better fit at the next level.

Fox’s size and speed fit well at the next level.  His outside shooting has been nothing short of horrific, but if it improves, the sky is the limit.

With that out of the way (his outside shot), virtually every other part of his game is highly impressive. He stands at 6’4 with the ability to swallow up opposing point guards defensively, and Fox is quite possibly the most dominant defensive guard in the nation. Offensively, Fox attacks the rim with reckless abandon, rebounds at a high level (5.0 per game), and distributes to his loaded assembly of teammates as the team’s primary facilitator.

Describing Fox’s defense as “dominant” is a stretch, especially if you watched the Louisville game, but I understand why Fox is considered a better pro prospect than Monk.  Even though his leaping ability mitigates the problem, 6’4″ is still undersized for an NBA wing.  Monk also struggles defensively, but to his credit, he’s continually improved since he arrived in Lexington.

Dime listed Fox as the No. 5 talent in the 2017 draft, Monk is No. 9 as the class’ “purest scorer” and Bam Adebayo was ranked No. 12, the highest I’ve seen him ranked by any outlet.

[Dime Magazine]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

32 Comments for Who’s a Better NBA Prospect: Fox or Monk?

  1. JusSayin
    1:11 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    How many sub 6’3 NBA SGs can you name?

    Until Monk learns to run point and develops more of a “combo guard” game, Fox will be the better pro.

    Monk currently looks to be in the Eric Gordon/Ben Gordon mold. Eric pretty good. Ben Gordon was okay.

    Fox’s basement is Elfrid Payton, his ceiling John Wall. Either of those is worth a top 5 pick.

    • Kray502
      1:31 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Lou Williams for the Lakers is 6’1″, and their leading scorer coming off of the bench. Even won 6th man, the Idea that someone shorter than 6’5″ can’t play the “2” in the pros, is blasphemy. It’s no different than the “You have to be 6’5″ to be a QB in the NFL” tale.

    • Mc12
      1:39 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Avery Bradley, McCollum, Redick, Oladipo, Wade, and a few others are near that 6’4 mark. I agree it will help Monk to run the point some which I think he’s capable of doing.

      I think the elevation that Monk gets on his jump shot makes up for the difference in 1 or 2 inches in height. His offensive moves remind me of Kobe.

      He has a lot of work to do on the defensive end, and takes a few plays off defensively, but I can see him averaging 18 a game in the NBA.

      With Fox, he will also obviously go in the top 10. It just depends on what each team needs especially with several other talented point guards such as Dennis Smith, Lonzo Ball, and Markelle Fultz all likely to be taken in the top 10.

      He has a ton of upside too. I think they’ll both have careers that compare well to each other.

    • JusSayin
      1:43 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      I didn’t say they “couldn’t” play. I even listed two of them.

      But there is a limit to their impact and they very quickly fall out of favor as they get abused defensively and therefor are often limited to off the bench scorer type roles… “microwaves”.

      For example: Lou Williams can only be on the court with a taller PG like Jordan Clarkson or DeAngelo Russell for defensive reasons.

      Also Lou Williams can run the PG spot. He backed Kyle Lowry in Toronto.

      And most importantly for the purposes of this convo… I wouldn’t use a top 10 pick on Lou Will.

    • CATandMONKEY
      1:51 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Will totally agree that Monk needs to develop more PG skills and mentality. May be somewhat difficult on this team though when we can really use his buckets.
      As of this moment, Fox is the better prospect based on his speed and PG skills. His shooting can likely be improved and his defense is there, just not yet guaranteed.

    • JusSayin
      1:54 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      And Malik Monk is not pushing 6’4 like Bradley, Reddick, Wade.

      He measured “6′ 2.25”.

      Every NBA player 6’3 and under can run PG effectively (With the exception of maybe Eddie House a few years ago)

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:42 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Monk has already displayed all the requisite skills needed by an NBA 1-guard. Not every pro offense requires a mega-assist classic point guard (though some do). He’ll be fine in the pros.

    • Mc12
      3:40 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      He’s about the same height as Bradley and McCollum. I think Monk will be able to handle the ball just as well as an Avery Bradley and McCollum. He actually has pretty good handles and was a good passer in high school. He’s doing what he’s asked to do now.

      My point is that although players like Redick, Wade, Oladipo, etc. may be an inch taller than Monk, the vertical that Monk gets on his jump shot more than compensates for that.

  2. ukallday69
    1:19 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    it blows my mind when people start talking like fox is the best defensive point guard in the country…. yall still busy looking at the recruiting rankings and not whats happening on the court..

    that being said if fox learns to shoot from outside the paint its not really a question

    • CATandMONKEY
      1:21 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Indeed, Fox has the potential to be the best defensive PG but still needs to show it during the remainder of the season.

    • Kray502
      1:32 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      He needs to learn how to go over and not under screens, that killed us in the Louisville game and Snider lit us up for it, hopefully he changes that notion, and from the looks of the Ole Miss game he should be headed in the right direction in that department.

  3. JusSayin
    1:24 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    On another note. It’s important to distinguish on the ball guarding ability and actual defensive results.

    Fox has allowed most of the high profile PGs he played against to have decent games.
    Lonzo Ball played great in the second half of the UCLA game. Joel Berry played outstanding and Quentin Snider had the game of his life.

    His attributes give him a high defensive upside but right now I question if he is even the best on the ball defender on the team, let alone the “most dominant defensive guard in the nation”

  4. bluecrowe
    1:50 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    Who cares? We should not care. The focus on the NBA from day one is weird and sad. I am glad a majority of these guys under Cal are going to make a lot of money for playing a child’s game as adults, but that is not what makes UK basketball or BBN special. I am tired of Cal talking about the millions made and lives changed as though 95% of them would not still be the best players in college and going to the NBA and making the same amount of money if they went anywhere else to play in college. It is exhausting to hear about this ad nauseum. We want championships and to not have to learn 7 new names every 5 months. He was brought here to win the big games, not to create millionaires. If that happens as a by product then fine, but when we know we are renting the starting rotation for 5 months and not winning multiple championships, then I think we need to rethink the entire paradigm. After every loss since he got here he says, well what do you expect from freshmen? Well if this is what happens then perhaps he should consider asking them to stay a couple of years rather than recruiting over them before they have even stepped on campus. We have left at least 2 championships on the table in his tenure. Draft night is never going to mean anything to BBN.

    • JusSayin
      1:58 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      If we didn’t value NBA level talent and their dreams… we wouldn’t get NBA level talent.

    • smahurin
      2:05 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      I get so frustrated with this kind of selfish thought. We care because we grow to love these kids and appreciate them and their contributions to the school and program we love. We don’t love a kid, and the instant he leaves for graduation, NBA,etc view them as dead to us (well most of us don’t). And we also care because success begets success. Cal’s focus on the NBA aspect has both improved the lives of these kids we care about, AND helped him recruit more talented young kids that lends itself to more opportunities for UK basketball.

      You’re mad that he hasn’t won 7 titles, I get it. You’re right that UK has had chances to win more than the 1 title in the past 7 years. But its the success that Cal has brought that has allowed us those chances to win those titles. The NCAA like it or not is a single elimination format. The best you can hope for is a talented team with a chance to win. If you give yourself a chance, sometimes you’ll strike it rich and sometimes it won’t bounce your way.

      I get sick of UK fans that think that because we’re one of the 2-5 best teams in the tourney in a 68-team single elimination format we should be gauranteed to win every title. You know how many times K, Self, Williams, Pitino, Wright, etc have had one of the 2-5 best teams in college basketball and NOT won? It’s a ton. It’s the most difficult sport to win a championship in due to the format of the tourney.

      Yes I want to win. Cal has won. He’s not perfect, but he’s been phenomenal for the university and for the kids who comes to Kentucky. I just wish everyone could appreciate that.

    • CATandMONKEY
      2:09 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Amen (non-denominational, of course), smahurin!

    • damage_control
      2:38 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Change your diaper grandpa.

    • unbridled
      2:58 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Speak for yourself. The players individual success and success for the university are not mutually exclusive…quite the contrary actually. You are subscribing to an antiquated and obsolete mentality regarding college basketball. Your idea doesn’t work. Coach cals does. Please don’t quit your day job.

    2:03 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    Get off my lawn!
    We have enjoyed better teams, with one exception, under Cal than under ANY UK coach with perhaps the exception of Rupp…and Rupp coached during a time when only 4 schools in the country gave a damn about basketball.

    • CATandMONKEY
      2:04 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Damned reply buttons…meant for #4.

  6. bluecrowe
    2:18 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    yes what you all are saying is not wrong, but even keeping some of these guys for one extra year would have meant the difference. Cousins, Teague, Lamb, Jones, etc. were not ready for the next level and you can argue still are not and yet they left I can imagine out of peer pressure and being already recruited over. If UNC can keep a kid for a couple of years than why can’t UK? I respect what you all are saying and have said ALL of these things to others who harp to me about Cal and UK, but sometimes it just hits you how strange it is to have to learn 6 new names every 5 months. I want to see these kids for a couple of years. I think they and the program could be better off. Maybe you all are right and in the current climate this simply does not work any longer.

    • smahurin
      2:25 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Because the way UNC keeps kids is WRONG. Being drafted by the NBA is about who is ready to be drafted, not necessarily who is ready to step in and contribute. All but the biggest superstars struggle upon getting to the NBA. But they can work and improve in the NBA.

      UNC keeps kids because Roy Williams begs, cajoles, and forces his kids in every imaginable way to stay so he can win more basketball games, even if the kid wants to go pro.

      Cal gives these kids the information necessary and allows them and their families to make the decision that they feel is best. Sometimes that means someone comes back (T. Jones, D. Lamb, Harrisons, Poythress, etc) and oftentimes that means they leave. Sometimes these kids and their families don’t make the best decision for them and other times they do make the best decision, but it should be their decision to make. They shouldn’t need to contend with a selfish coach who tries to strong arm the kid into coming back not out of a desire to help the kid improve but a desire to make it easier for that coach to win more basketball games.

      If the worst thing we can say about the success that Cal has brought is that we have to learn new names on for a 5 on 5 basketball game… I can live with that 7-days per week.

    • Catsby80
      3:09 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Pretty sure Cousins made the correct decision to leave, boss man. He is arguably the best true center in the game and has been for the last 2-3 years if not longer. He’s made an absolute fortune and made it to the peak of his career, which are his ultimate goals mind you.

  7. damage_control
    2:43 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    What are you talking about. We do see some kids for 2, 3, even 4 years! Just stop it! You’re just as clueless as the announcers who while UK is playing Hawkins, Willis, Briscoe, Humphries, and Mulder are STILL referring to Briscoe as the “old man” of the group! You just sound like you don’t know the team. Yes, most of the top players leave, but stop acting like we don’t have guys every year who stick around.

    • unbridled
      3:03 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you. For a UK fan to criticize coach cal or his methods shows that they have absolutely no understanding of college basketball.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:47 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      ^ yet unbridled has no problem bashing the football team every chance he gets….

    • unbridled
      3:51 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Yes. The football team is and will remain irrelevant as long as the status quo is tolerated. Don’t you have a tree to hug? Welfare check to cash? Communist rally to make signs for?

    • unbridled
      3:52 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      Sorry bigboard, if you can’t see the difference in the 2 programs…I can’t help you.

    • UK Big Board Update
      4:53 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

      WTF are you rambling about? Welfare checks? Communist rally? Put the bottle down.

  8. The Professor
    3:04 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    I read the high school scouting report on Fox and it basically said he couldn’t shoot and it was surprising he wasn’t a better defender given his athletic skills. Obviously, little has changed. He will have difficulty in the pros if he doesn’t improve remarkably with his shooting as they will just play off him and dare him to shoot. Monk on the other hand also has excellent quickness and athleticism plus an incredible ability to elevate on his shot making him seem much taller. Unless, Fox shows vast improvement I think Monk will definitely go higher in the draft as he could play the 1 or 2.

  9. fauxbobknight
    4:02 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    Monk. Averaging 27.5 ppg on 52% shooting from the field and 50% from 3 in the 4 games against ranked teams (and future nba talent) and that includes the Louisville game. Fox certainly has plenty of potential but Monk is already making good on his potential.

  10. UK Big Board Update
    10:30 pm January 3, 2017 Permalink

    Monk and Fox are Superman…..