I could be wrong but I feel like a lot more attention was paid to the scoring abilities of Jamal Murray last year than have been for Malik Monk this year. Certainly nobody is denying Monk is an elite scorer and his game against North Carolina was truly one of the 5 best offensive performances in UK history, but I just don’t think people are appreciating the pace Monk is on and what a historic season he is on path for.
Currently, Malik Monk has scored 329 points in 15 games. That is an average of 21.93 points per game. The freshman scoring record was set by Jamal Murray last year when he scored 720 points in 36 games for a 20.0 ppg average. So right now he is on pace to break Jamal Murray’s freshman scoring record. Plus, Monk might get the opportunity to play more games than Murray since the Cats only made the 2nd round last year and this team looks poised to make a deeper run.
But I don’t think people are recognizing the OVERALL scoring record list and the chance Monk has to get near the top of the list. Consider this: if Monk continues with this scoring average for the rest of the year, here is where he would finish in the freshman and overall single season scoring lists (total points) based on the number of games UK will play:
40 games (National Championship Game) = 877 points (#1 Freshman and #2 Overall)
39 games (Final Four) = 855 points (#1 Freshman and #2 Overall)
38 games (Elite 8) = 833 points (#1 Freshman and #3 Overall)
37 games (Sweet 16) = 811 points (#1 Freshman and #3 Overall)
Folks, Malik Monk has a REAL shot at having the 2nd best scoring season in UK history. Dan Issel’s mark of 948 points in 1970 is not going to be touched. Even if UK played 40 games, Monk would have to average 24.8 points per game in the final 25 games to beat Issel. And that’s assuming UK makes the national title game. The more reasonable mark to obtain is Jodie Meeks’ 854 points in 2009. As you can see above, if Monk just stays steady and UK makes the Final Four, he’ll beat Meeks.
So here is my question: are we giving him enough credit? This guy could be one of the 2 or 3 best scorers in UK history. And he’s 19 years old. But I think Jamal Murray got much more praise last year for his scoring and Jodie Meeks is still considered in higher regard. Is it just a fact that UK has played less than half a season or are we starting to just get too comfortable with the greatness we are experiencing over the last 7 years?