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Vanderbilt coach on Willis, Monk

Malik Monk (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Derek Willis hit only one 3-point shot in Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt Tuesday. Still, I asked Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew after the game what he thought about Willis’ play (he had eight rebounds and three blocked shots).

His answer might surprise you.

“Willis does a good job of spreading the floor for them. You have to be aware where he is on the court and you have to keep a man open close to him, which then opens up guys to drive and get to the rim,” Drew said.

So just the threat of Willis heating up from outside changes the way teams defend.

“Maybe even though his stats aren’t as high as some other guys, he’s a very significant part of their team, we feel,” Drew said.

And what about Malik Monk?

“Monk is just a tremendous talent. You can take away the 3, but then he can drive. You can take away the drive, and he’ll hit 3’s,” Drew said. “He does a great job finishing in transition. You know he’s going to score points. We didn’t want to give him those 10 free throws. We wanted to keep him off the line, but he does a great job getting there.”

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