Five-star prospect Malik Monk picks Kentucky over Arkansas

Malik Monk (USATSI)
Malik Monk will be playing for the Kentucky Wildcats. (USATSI)

Five-star guard Malik Monk on Wednesday publicly committed to Kentucky, which means the Wildcats now have the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, according to most analylsts.

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This is huge for Kentucky.

This is crushing for Arkansas.

I wrote about Monk’s recruitment in July and detailed just how big of a tug-a-war it was between Kentucky coach John Calipari and Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. On one hand, it seemed unlikely that the Hogs would let Monk, an Arkansas native whose brother played for the Razorbacks, leave the state of Arkansas under any circumstances. On the other hand, the man trying to lure him East was Calipari — the Hall of Fame coach and, arguably, the top recruiter in the history of college basketball who has developed four No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft.

Ultimately, Calipari won.

So now Kentucky has the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class — just ahead of Duke.

Monk is the fifth five-star prospect from the Class of 2016 to commit to the Wildcats. The others are point guard De’Aaron Fox, forward Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo, forward Wenyen Gabriel and forward Sacha Killeya-Jones. No other school currently has commitments from even four five-star recruits, according to 247Sports. This development means the Wildcats have now had the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class five times (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) since Calipari became their coach in April 2009. Kentucky has never had a recruiting class ranked lower than No. 2 nationally under Calipari, according to 247Sports.

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