Florida coach Mike White says Monk was “amazing”

Malik Monk (Jeff Houchin Photo)

Here is what Florida coach Mike White said Saturday after Kentucky’s 76-66 win over his team:

On Malik Monk scoring 30 points in the second half and what options he had trying to contain him …
“We had a couple of options that did a good job on him in Gainesville. We just didn’t do quite as good of a job (here), especially down the stretch. Both of the guys, Chris Chiozza and Kasey (Hill), had four fouls. He took the game over. He was amazing. It was probably the best performance against us all year.”

On Bam Adebayo’s performance and rebounding the ball …
“I thought those were the two biggest factors by far. I thought they played with tremendous physicality – led by him. Even on some of those rebounds that he didn’t get, he was making contact with somebody. They were the better team. They defended at a high level and rebounded at a high level.”

On Florida’s defense breaking down in the second half as opposed to the first
“I don’t mean to give you the coach cop-out here – we didn’t have a bunch of glaring mistakes that we made. Malik Monk has an ability to get (a shot) off anytime he wants. He has incredible speed off the ball. They do a good job of setting screens, putting him in positions to be successful, and putting him in space. You have to crowd him. We were hanging all over him two or three times. Just hanging all over him. We were called for a couple of fouls, of course, fouling the jumpshot. That’s how aware you are of how good of a shooter he is. We’re literally hanging on too much with contact. Then he has blow-by speed. He has an incredibly long first step and explosiveness. When he didn’t score, he drew fouls on us. His 33 (points), if you add the amount of fouls that he drew – he was better even than 33.”

On his reaction on De’Aaron Fox not playing …
“I found out right at the tip, I guess. Honestly, I said ‘Okay,’ and that was really it. I mean it was. I think he’s obviously a terrific player, and we really struggled to guard him in Gainesville. But I thought, just in my opinion, I could be wrong, but when you play here, when you’re playing at Rupp, I think that’s just a much bigger factor. Obviously, I hope he gets healthy. I said it to somebody yesterday, I hope he plays, of course, not only for Kentucky but we want to have an opportunity to play the best. It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s unfortunate. Our game plan, it didn’t change much, it’s just a matter of different personal, that’s all. You know, if we scouted 10 guys, we’ve got nine to lock in on. That’s all.”

On if he felt an opportunity was missed when tied with Kentucky at the half …
“Absolutely. The way we finished the first half, it just wasn’t, we weren’t very solid. We made a couple decisions there with a couple of our fouls. I think we had two fouls in the last 11-12 seconds, which led to three points that were both very ill advised by older guys. We needed to be the more mature team, and we didn’t take advantage in that regard.”

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