Monk wins Jerry West Award


Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk hits a late three to keep the Wildcats in the game during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional Elite 8 at FedExForum on Sunday, March 26, 2017 in Memphis, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Chris Leach

Malik Monk has received many awards in the postseason because of the his stellar freshman season, but on Friday evening, Monk was given another prestigious award, possibly the best one he has earned all season.

Monk was named the 2017 Jerry West Award winner, honoring the best shooting guard in men’s college basketball. Monk beat out fellow shooting guards Bryce Alford of UCLA, and Luke Kennard of Duke for the award.

This was the first time that a UK player has won the award, and it comes one year after Tyler Ulis won the Bob Cousy Award, given to the best point guard in college basketball that year.

Monk was certainly worthy of the award, as he scored 754 points this season, which is the most points scored ever by a UK freshman. Monk also owns the record for the most points scored in a game by a freshman, scoring 47 points in the memorable win over national champion North Carolina in December.

Monk announced earlier in the week that he was forgoing his college eligibility to enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent.

Monk will always be remembered for his rim-rattling dunks and timely three’s, but now fans have another reason to remember the talented guard, and that’s finishing his UK career winning the highest award a shooting guard in the NCAA can earn.