Note to Kentucky Wildcat fans: Who is Malik Monk?
“If you watched that game, and if you never liked basketball, you’re going to start liking basketball,” Coach John Calipari said. “Play fast, score quickly, open the court up and let these kids do their thing.”
Malik Monk was considered by some to be an on again-off again collegian who was undisciplined and didn’t show up for or come through in every game. Yet come through he has, as he just played the game of his life just when his team needed him most. And he’s a FRESHMAN — and it’s only December. Come on March madness!
Monk’s scored 47 points against the North Carolina Tar Heels. It was the highest-scoring game by a Tar Heels opponent since 1970. So it was only fitting that he took the go-ahead 3-pointer from the wing with 16 seconds remaining to cap his record setting outburst and lift No. 6 Kentucky to a 103-100 victory over No. 7 North Carolina on Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Monk, who made 8 of 12 3-pointers, said he took the winning 3 instead of driving because he was “in the flow.” It was a packed house, and everyone was going crazy,” said Monk, who scored 27 in the first half.
Even after Monk set a Kentucky freshman scoring record, Calipari found a flaw in his 6-foot-3-inch star’s effort. “How many rebounds did he have?” said Calipari, who knew the answer was zero. “He’s special, but he’s got a lot to learn.”
And so the spiritual tie in is clear: if a freshman Phenom can carry his team on his back and beat an arch rival opponent on the big stage, then you and I can rise and shine and give God the glory as we disappoint the devil and prove all of our haters wrong.