Naismith Award Top 30 Announced, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk Make The Cut

Kentucky Basketball Freshman guards, Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox have been named to the top 30 on the Naismith Award watch list.

The Atlanta Tip-Off club has announced the top 30 finalist for the Naismith College Player of The Year Award. Two Kentucky Basketball players have found their names among college hoops’ best players.

The list is highlighted by Monk and Fox with the likes of UCLA standout Lonzo Ball, along with Villanova’s Josh Hart, Kansas guard Frank Mason III and Duke sharpshooter Luke Kennard.

An Impressive Backcourt

Malik Monk has ushered his way into stardom following his efforts in the scoring column. The Arkansas native leads the Wildcats in scoring this season at nearly 22 PPG. Monk has made it this far into the season with a 41.6 three-point field goal percentage. Additionally, he has also shown the country that he is a threat from behind the arc. Monk’s season is highlighted by a 47 point performance against North Carolina. In addition, that performance will likely be one of the best in college basketball season.

De’Aaron Fox injured his ankle against Kentucky’s victory over South Carolina. The Houston, Texas native is the proud owner of one of the three triple-doubles in Kentucky Basketball history. The freshman point guard has been the floor general for the Wildcats. With an average of 5.5 assists per game, and 16 PPG, Fox’s floor presence is key in the success of the Cats.

The Naismith Award

The Naismith National College Player of The Year Award is a huge accomplishment for an athlete. Anthony Davis won the award as a Freshman in 2012. Big Blue Fans remember that year well as the Cats brought home Championship No. 8 with a win over Kansas. Past winners of the award include Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Michael Jordan.

Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox make up two-third of the SEC representatives on the list along with South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell. The Atlanta Tipoff Club will announce the ten semifinalist for the award on March 1, 2017.

This article originally appeared on