Scout/Jeff Drummond

Malik Monk is second Kentucky Wildcats freshman to declare for NBA Draft

Monk joins De'Aaron Fox in making the one-and-done jump.

Kentucky's Malik Monk is taking his potent jump shot to the next level.

The Wildcats' freshman shooting guard on Tuesday became the second UK star to declare for the NBA Draft, joining backcourt mate De'Aaron Fox.

“After taking some time with my family and reflecting on this season, I have decided to enter my name into the 2017 NBA Draft,” Monk said in a statement released by UK. “As a little kid, these are words that I could only dream of saying. For that, I am very grateful and thank God. I would like to thank Coach Cal for helping me evolve my game and become a more complete basketball player. You pushed me all season to be my best and taught me the true meaning of team and sacrifice.”

Like Fox, Monk plans to sign with an agent prior to the June 22 draft, effectively ending his collegiate career. Players have until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23 to submit their names for the draft.

The Associated Press SEC Player of The Year and a consensus second-team All-America pick, Monk is projected to be a Top 10 pick.

“Malik is a special talent,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “With Malik, you’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique. What I love about Malik is that, as the season went on, he learned how to help our team win by doing more than just score. He became an efficient player who I believe will make an immediate impact at the next level.”

Monk was the highest-scoring freshman in UK history, posting 754 points. Only three UK players in any class have ever scored more points in a season: Dan Issel (948, 1970), Jodie Meeks (854, 2009), and Jamal Mashburn (767, 1992). His 19.8 points per game average ranked second nationally among freshmen. 

The 6-foot-3 Arkansas native reached double digits in all but two games, highlighted by a 47-point outburst in a December win over eventual national champion North Carolina. He is the only freshman in UK history to record four 30-point games in a season.

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