Will Calipari sit Monk if he does not rebound?

John Calipari wants Bam Adebayo, right, to have 10 or more rebounds every game. (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After failing to get a rebound the last two games, Malik Monk has heard plenty about rebounding from coach John Calipari and the Kentucky staff going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Alabama.

“I said to him, ‘You’re not rebounding, you’re not defending the way you should. How are we dealing with this?’ He said, ‘Coach, tell me, and if I don’t do it, sit me.’ He said it to me. I didn’t say it to him, and I told the team what he said. ‘Anybody else want to have that comment?’ Calipari said Friday.

“You have other guys that were like, ‘No’. But that’s how they should feel. If I’m not doing my job, sit me out. We can afford to sit anybody.”

Excuse me for being more than a bit skeptical. During his entire time at Kentucky, Calipari has never shown a propensity for sitting a star player for long periods. Don’t forget Monk leads UK — and the SEC — in scoring. The easier solution is for Monk just to rebound.

It’s not just Monk who has lacked consistency on the boards. He’s just been the worst.

“I want Bam (Adebayo) to go get double-digit rebounds every game. Wenyen (Gabriel) will fight like heck. It’s our guards that got to stick their noses in there and go rebound. This team (Alabama) is going to shoot it and send four guys to the rim. That’s what they do. And if your guards don’t rebound, it’s going to be ugly,” the UK coach said.

“If your guards do rebound, we can fly because you’re giving up something by sending them to the rim. And if we do what we’re supposed to, then we fly. ”

Calipari went back to his go-to explanation — this process at Kentucky is not easy for a freshman-dominated team.

“I think they get it. We got great kids who are learning. I had a friend of mine call me last night and just say, ‘Man, what’s wrong with (Kentucky)?‘ You know, you’ve got a bunch of young guys trying to figure this out for the first time, thought it would be easy, no it’s hard. Alright, now let’s find out what you really are so you really can be evaluated, because those lists don’t mean anything. They don’t. It doesn’t mean who (they’re going to draft). I’ve seen guys where you’re the fifth and you go second round. What happened? Or you go 28. That stuff doesn’t matter. That has no effect on how this stuff goes,” Calipari said.

“We got a month to get this right. These guys are in a great frame of mind right now. It’s going to be a really hard game for us to win down there the way they’re playing and how hard they rebound the ball. It’s exactly the medicine we need to say ‘Where are we right now rebounding the ball?’ Because you’re going to find out, similar to what Florida did, shoot it and go get it.”

1 comment

  1. No I don’t think Calipari will sit Monk, or any of the other players who get most of the PT no matter how bad they play, at least not for very long. That is not in his wheel house. He has proven that now for years. Sometimes I wonder if Cal runs his team or do the super players. That could be the problem right now. Everything is OK as long as they are beating teams by 20 points with their superior talent. It don’t work out so well though if his “one and done” players don’t perform and actually start losing and playing sloppy. That whole conversation between him and Monk sounded strange to me. Can anybody imagine Frank Martin having such a conversation with one of his players like that? I don’t see it. Fox has been slowed by injury and the flu. Since the USC game he has had 12 assists and 13 TO’s He played pretty well against LSU with 16 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Maybe things will start to get back to normal with his play and UK will rally down the stretch and close strong They have not been the same with him hurt and out, we’ll see. As for Monk, you would think he would get a rebound or two once in awhile.

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