Calipari on Monk: “When he gets too hyped he’s not at his best”

Malik Monk. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

John Calipiari had a lot to say about Arkansas native Malik Monk Friday as the Cats get set to host Arkansas Saturday night. Here’s what he said:

On freshman guard Malik Monk having added motivation to play Arkansas …
“He and I haven’t talked about it. When he gets too hyped he’s not at his best. I thought when he gets too hyped he doesn’t shoot it as well, mind starts racing a little bit. He’s not, you know, the calm, athletic, attack player he needs to be when he’s at his best. He and I will talk about it before the game, but right now it hasn’t been discussed.”

On Monk …
“Well, the best thing that he’s done is he’s transformed himself into a defensive guard – more so than he’s ever been. The second thing is he’s becoming an efficient scorer. He took 11 shots and he had 20-some points last game. He doesn’t have to take 40 shots to get 25 points. He’s not that guy. Now, he’s gotta take it up a notch rebounding the ball. He’s gotta go after balls. He’s gotta check out. My opinion is he should be a double-double (player) – as a guard. Like, what? Yeah. He should be a double-double (player)and it should be rebounds and points. He could be that guy, but he’s gotta focus on that.”

On Monk having a reputation as being inconsistent and if he’s shaken that now that he’s at UK …
“Well, he’s efficient more than consistent. When you’re an efficient player and you don’t have to be a guy who has to take 30 shots to get points, that’s big for your team because then everybody else can still shoot. Like I said, he had 11 shots and he made eight or nine – whatever he made – and had 20-some points. The other thing is we’re shooting free throws in there and the kid’s making 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row. I look at Isaiah (Briscoe) – ‘If you shot free throws.’ Isaiah was like, ‘Why won’t he get fouled?’ Like, go get fouled. If you miss two jump shots – go get fouled. Go make two free throws. ‘OK, now I’ve got it going.’ It’s all creating new habits for these guys. Creating new habits for Bam (Adebayo) and De’Aaron Fox and Wenyen (Gabriel). A shot goes up, I’m not going to watch the ball. I’m going to create a habit and the minute that guy releases it, I go hit somebody. It’s all habits. It’s not changing. It’s creating new habits, creating new practice habits. That’s the day-to-day stuff that we’re trying to do.”

On if Arkansas’ style of play encourages other teams to just play basketball and not pay attention to schemes …
“Well, you’ve gotta – any game you’re playing you’ve gotta do some schemes to play together. But I would say if they’re trapping us, if they’re spreading the court out, it doesn’t matter who does that to us, we’re going to play. We’re not pulling it out. So I’m not giving away trade secrets. Anybody that’s watched me coach for over 30 years knows if you press and trap, we’re coming. That’s how we play. They play some zone. They trap out of zone. They do some stuff. They do some different out-of-bounds stuff to try to disrupt you. It’s how they play. So it should be another good ballgame for us – another hard game for us.”

Leave a Reply