Draft Profile: Malik Monk

2017 Draft Profile Series presented by Putnam Investments

Malik Monk
G | 6'3" | 200 LBS.19.8 PPG | 2.5 RPG | 2.3 APG

* Photo courtesy of Getty Images


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Why You Might Know Him

The University of Kentucky has had its fair share of high-volume freshmen scorers over the years, but no rookie in program history ever put on a clinic like Malik Monk did this season. The Arkansas native established Wildcat freshman single-game and single-season scoring records, after scoring 47 points against No. 7 North Carolina and totaling 754 points over the course of the 38-game campaign. Monk’s offensive efforts resulted in him winning the Jerry West Award for the top shooting guard in the nation, and he’s widely believed to be the best at his position in the 2017 draft class.

Scouting Report

Possessions Scouted from 2016-17 Season:
OFFENSE: 16.4 percent of possessions
DEFENSE: 20.0 percent of possessions

Malik Monk is an undersized 2-guard who plays with a shoot-first mentality. That mentality is warranted, because he can shoot the rock. Monk is an excellent shooter off of nearly every perimeter shot type. He shoots it at a high clip off of the catch, off of pull-ups, off of dribble hand-offs and off of step-backs. He has a quick release. The negative to Monk’s offensive game is that he doesn’t provide much else outside of shooting. He is a below-average scorer in the paint and is a below-average ball handler, particularly going left. He will not create offense outside of creating his own perimeter shot. He doesn’t have a quick first step and is not explosive off the dribble. His defensive ability looks worse than it really is because he puts himself in bad positions by ball-watching; there were many instances this season in which he completely lost his man because he was watching the ball. He showcases average reaction time defensively and average foot speed. He gives up on plays and possessions. He verbally placed blame on teammates on many occasions during game action, and whether it was warranted or not, that shouldn’t happen. Monk will provide his future team with perimeter shooting, but as an undersized 2-guard who, for now, can’t play point guard, his upside is limited.


Malik Monk was born Feb. 4, 1998 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Michael Scales and Jackie Monk. He has one older brother, Marcus, played Division I college basketball and football at the University of Arkansas. Marcus was an All-SEC wide receiver for the Razorbacks and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The younger Monk attended Bentonville High School and was widely considered to be the top shooting guard in his class of 2016. During his senior season, he averaged 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He established a single-game program record with 53 points, and led the Tigers to the 2016 state title game. Monk was named Arkansas Mr. Basketball and earned 2016 Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year honors. He also starred in the Jordan Brand Classic, as he logged 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and shared MVP honors with fellow University of Kentucky signee De’Aaron Fox. Monk was ranked as the No. 11 overall recruit in the nation by 247Sports, was listed at No. 13 by Scout, and was ranked No. 9 by both ESPN and Rivals. He chose to commit to UK over Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, Kansas and Oregon. Monk excelled during his lone season in Lexington, Kentucky, as he established a number of Wildcats scoring records. He averaged a team-best 19.8 points per game, while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range. He scored a UK rookie-record 754 points and was the top-scoring freshman in the nation. Monk also set the UK freshman single-game scoring record on Dec. 17, when he tallied 47 pointson 18-of-28 shooting (including 8-of-12 from 3-point range) to lead the No. 6 Wildcats over No. 7 North Carolina for a 103-100 win. He scored 20-plus points 19 times and eclipsed the 30-point mark on four occasions. Monk earned a number of awards at season’s end, as he was named SEC AP Player of the Year, AP Newcomer of the Year and received the Jerry West Award for top shooting guard in the nation. Monk declared for the NBA Draft on April 4.