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Kentucky Wildcats freshman Malik Monk named a finalist for the Jerry West Award

The ‘Cats freshman gets some well-deserved recognition.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Malik Monk is one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Jerry West Award. The finalists, announced on Tuesday, include Kentucky’s terrific freshman who’s been putting up prodigious scoring numbers since the start of the 2016-17 season.

Monk currently leads the pace in the SEC in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game. That’s a full two points ahead of junior Yante Maten of the Georgia Bulldogs, and over four points better than Mississippi State Bulldogs sophomore Quinndary Weatherspoon.

Broadening things out, Monk is second behind Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (23.3 PPG) for the lead in points per game among players in the major conferences (ACC, Big XII, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC). Needless to say, Monk has certainly proved himself to be one of the top scorers in the country and well deserving of this kind of recognition.

The remainder of the field sees a variety of players from around the country. Devonte’ Graham (Kansas Jayhawks), Luke Kennard (Duke Blue Devils), Bryce Alford (UCLA Bruins) and James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana Hoosiers) are also in the mix as well as Marcus Foster (Creighton Bluejays), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati Bearcats), Jordan Matthews (Gonzaga Bulldogs), Peter Jok (Iowa Hawkeyes) and Steve Vasturia (Notre Dame Fighting Irish).