After being named to the USA Today’s All-American team earlier today, Malik Monk has been named to the NBC Sports AA 2nd team and has been listed as a semi-finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award.
Monk’s scoring stands out in a number of ways. Averaging 21.2 points per game, He is the first freshman to lead the SEC in scoring in almost 30 years. That total also matches Dajuan Wagner (Memphis) as the top scorer under Coach John Calipari in a single season.
Joining the Kentucky Wildcat sharp-shooter on the NBC Sports second team is Nigel Williams-Goss, (Gonzaga), Justin Jackson (North Carolina), Josh Jackson (Kansas), and Johnathan Motley (Baylor). Monk is averaging more points per game than another other player on the NBC Sports All-American list.
Malik Monk, Fr., Kentucky (21.2 ppg, 41.4% 3PT)
Monk is the single-most dangerous weapon that there is in college basketball this season. No one has put together a better performance that the 47 points he had in a win over North Carolina … except for Monk, as that might not be the most ridiculous thing he’s done this season. He scored 31 points in the second half and overtime to lead Kentucky back against Georgia. He scored 30 points in the second half against Florida in a game where the Wildcats didn’t have De’Aaron Fox and earned themselves the SEC regular season title. He’s scored at least 20 points in a half six times this season.
The AAU Sullivan Award goes to an amateur athlete whose “athletic accomplishments are complemented by qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship.” The award has been presented annually since 1930 and is named after the founder of AAU, James E. Sullivan.
Former notable athletes to claim the Sullivan award are Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Michael Phelps. Other semi-finalists for the award this year are Aly Raisman, Ashleigh Johnson, Brianna Turner, Deshaun Watson, Ginny Thrasher, Helen Maroulis, Jackie Galloway, Kayla Harrison, Kyle Lewis, Kyle Snyder, Lauren Carlini, Laurie Hernandez, Lonzo Ball, Matt Centrowitz Jr, Maverick McNealy, Steele Johnson and Vashti Cunningham.
While this may be a lesser known national award, this should be exciting for Big Blue Nation because this award is voted on by fans. Each person can go to the AAU Sullivan Award home page and vote once per day. The first round of voting will conclude on March 13th and the final list of 6 nominees will be determined.
The winner of the award will be announced on April 11th at the New York Athletic Club.