NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - For the second time in just a few years, Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson and his staff are going to have to try and fight off Kentucky head coach John Calipari for the state's best player.
Bentonville junior Malik Monk (6-3, 170) has added a Kentucky offer recently to go along with his ones from Arkansas, Florida, Louisville, Uconn, Baylor, Indiana, Kansas and a host of others.
The 2016 five-star prospect – ranked as the fifth-best player nationally in the class and the top shooting guard in the country according to Scout.com – will begin to narrow his list later this summer according to brother Marcus, the former two-sport star for the Razorbacks.
“He's got so many offers now that I no longer can name them off the top of my head,” Monk said. “At the end of the summer, he will sit down with his mother and I and shortened the list. We'll go over each school's style of play, each schools academics and what they offer as far as majors. The coaching staff, rules and regulations of the coaching staff.
“We'll put all those facts on the table for him and let him narrow the list and then next summer he will narrow it even more,” Monk added. “He's in no hurry to make a decision and should not be.”
Kentucky came into Arkansas and recruited away Sylvan Hills star Archie Goodwin, who left the Wildcats after a year and is now with the NBA's Phoenix Suns.
“Arkansas is doing a great job recruiting Malik,” Monk said. “They have been at all the events, constantly being seen and supporting him, contacting his mother, contacting me and talking to him as well. They are doing a great job and he loves those guys.”
Monk was at his finest on Friday night as he nailed 5 3-pointers and poured in 40 points to lead Arkansas Wings over Team Penny 90-88 to move his team to 3-1 in pool action.
He had 22 of those points by halftime against Team Penny, which features North Little Rock star and Florida commit KeVaughn Allen.
Monk had 20 points as the Wings beat the Jackson Tigers 75-59 and 14 points in a 88-68 win over Southern Stampede in pool games Thursday before coming off flat and losing to the previously winless New York Lightning 63-47 in their first game Friday.
Monk, who had a EYBL-high 59 points in one circuit game this spring, struggled and scored just 8 points while going 3-of-11 from the field, including 1-of-8 from the 3-point line.
It was a reminder to Marcus - who didn't want his brother to talk to media after the loss - that Malik is still a young kid that can get better despite the accolades.
“He can get better with his all around game, defensively, better decision-making, shot selection,” Monk said. “He is talented, but he has a long way to go and a lot of maturing to do.”
Monk was one of 80 high school prospects that got a chance to participate in the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas as James was making his decision to leave Miami and return to Cleveland.
“It was really good for him as far as the level of competition and being challenged every day,” Monk said. “They do skill work in the morning. It just gives those guys a sense of being around LeBron. Nobody gets that opportunity. It's a blessing for those kids to be in that position, but it also drives them and helps their level of play.”
Monk's List Now Has Red And Blue On It
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