Malik Monk is adding to his hardware collection.
On Friday night at the College Basketball Awards, the National Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monk as the winner of the Jerry West Award. Other finalists included Duke’s Luke Kennard, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Creighton’s Marcus Foster and UCLA’s Bryce Alford.
The award, which is annually given to the nation’s best shooting guard, is just one of many postseason honors Monk has been given, but this is easily the most prestigious. It was well deserved after Monk became UK’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 754 points this season, passing Jamal Murray’s 720 from the 2015-16 season.
That’s also fourth all-time in UK’s history books, regardless of class, trailing only Dan Issel (948; 1970), Jodie Meeks (854; 2009) and Jamal Mashburn (767; 1992).
Monk finished his freshman season averaging 19.8 points per game, second among all freshmen nationally, and reached double-figure scoring in all but two games. He did so in large part by being one of, if not the best three-point shooter in college basketball this season, making 104 3-pointers and barely missing on Jodie Meeks’ school record of 117.
The Arkansas native is the first player in program history to win the award and the second in school history to win one of the Hall of Fame’s historic positional awards after Tyler Ulis was the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year last season.