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Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk earn preseason recognition

ESPN, CBS, and NBC project Adebayo to All-American teams; CBS projects Monk as Third Team All-American

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky Blue-White Game Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that Kentucky has a talented roster once again this year. That has become a given under Head Coach John Calipari. The national media is well-aware of the level of talent Kentucky’s freshmen classes hold each year, and this year is no different.

That is why ESPN, CBS, and NBC all are projecting at least one Kentucky player on this year’s All-American teams.

Freshman forward Bam Adebayo is the consensus pick to be on an All-American team by season’s end. ESPN and NBC have him as a Third-Team All-American, while CBS projects the Kentucky big man to make the Second Team.

From CBS:

A freshman with a fun attitude, aggressive nature in the paint and a skill set that's probably going to get him drafted in the 2017 lottery. Kentucky's got a bevy of freshmen who look to be (again) of the one-and-done nature. Adebayo's ceiling is so, so high. He'll be a defensive force, a rebounding machine and probably the vocal leader of a Kentucky team that should be must-watch from game No. 1. Our projected numbers for Adebayo: 13.5 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 58 percent from the field.

From NBC:

Who is going to be Kentucky’s leading scorer this season? It’s tough to figure out, right? Our money is on Adebayo, their 6-foot-10 center. He’s a freak athletically with more of a face-up game than he gets credit for. Given the lack of perimeter shooting for the Wildcats this season, Adebayo will be asked to carry much of the load.

From ESPN:

Adebayo is a big man who plays hard and is a tremendous athlete. He has the potential for a double-double on any given night. The key for Adebayo will be adjusting to not always being able to physically overpower opponents in college as he was able to do in high school.

It’ll be a surprise if Bam doesn’t end up on an All-American team at the end of the season. He probably will not be First-Team because his numbers won’t be eye-popping with so much talent surrounding him, but I think Second-Team is quite likely.

However, Bam wasn’t the only Wildcat on the lists. Freshman guard Malik Monk snuck in as a third-team projection at CBS.

Malik Monk | Kentucky | Freshman | Guard

Monk should lead Kentucky in scoring. He will show he can score at three levels, will show flashes of NBA-level athleticism and prove he can hit shots from beyond 16 feet with consistency. Kentucky doesn't have any real reliable offensive options from distance on the wing -- except for Monk. UK looks to be the SEC's best team, far and away, and if Monk is going to average north of 15 points per game, it only makes sense to put him on an All-American team in the preseason. Oh, and get ready for his dunks.

Many are projecting Monk to be the leading scorer on a Wildcats team that is among the best in the country. If that turns out to be the case, it will be hard to deny him an All-American spot at the end of the season.