Kentucky's Malik Monk joins De'Aaron Fox in declaring for 2017 NBA Draft

The exodus of Kentucky freshmen to the NBA continued on Tuesday morning when Malik Monk announced his plans to enter the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent, ending his college career.

“After taking some time with my family and reflecting on this season, I have decided to enter my name into the 2017 NBA Draft,” Monk said. “As a little kid, these are words that I could only dream of saying. For that I am very grateful and thank God. I would like to thank Coach Cal for helping me evolve my game and become a more complete basketball player. You pushed me all season to be my best and taught me the true meaning of team and sacrifice. KP (Kenny Payne), thank you for mentoring me on and off the court and helping me perfect my craft while guiding me through the entire process. I want to thank all of the coaches and support staff for investing time and energy in my future and helping me mature as a young man.  Month by month I have grown and matured on and off the floor because of you guys.”

Monk was a star for the Wildcats in 2016-17, leading the team in scoring with 19.8 points per game. Doubters of Monk coming out of high school thought he had a tendency to be a streaky shooter, but he silenced those doubts, failing to score in double figures just twice all season. He also showed how explosive he can be at times against elite competition, scoring 47 points against North Carolina early in the season and proving that when he’s hot, no one can touch him.

Monk is the second freshman to declare for the NBA Draft in as many days, joining his point guard De’Aaron Fox. CBS Sports Insider Gary Parrish and CBS Sports NBA draft expert Howard Megdal both project Monk as a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.

“Malik is a special talent,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “With Malik you’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique. What I love about Malik is that, as the season went on, he learned how to help our team win by doing more than just score. He became an efficient player who I believe will make an immediate impact at the next level.”

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