It’s May. 5 and that means it’s time to look at three of the greatest Kentucky Wildcats to dawn the No. 5 on their uniform.
Here we find two recent UK Basketball stars and a Football standout who played under both Jerry Claiborne and Bill Curry.
Malik Monk (Men’s Basketball 2016-17)
It’s hard to find a more efficient scorer in UK Basketball history than Malik Monk. In his lone college season, Monk scored 754 points as he averaged 19.8 points per game while shooting 39.6% from downtown and 44.9% from the field.
In the 2016 CBS Sports Classic, Monk had a game for the ages as he scored 47 points to break the program’s freshman scoring record of 35 points, which was shared by Terrence Jones (2011) and Jamal Murray (2015) and lead the Cats to a 103-100 victory.
Monk was named the SEC Player of the Year by AP, First-Team All-SEC, the SEC Freshman of the Year and a consensus second-team All-American. He was selected 11th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.
Immanuel Quickley (Men’s Basketball 2018-20)
Immanuel Quickley had one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in recent UK history. As a freshman, Quickley came off the bench and averaged just 5.2 points in just over 18 minutes of playing time.
The McDonald’s All-American wisely opted to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season and earned star status. Quickley averaged 16.1 points for the Wildcats with 4.2 rebounds. In each of Kentucky’s final 20 games, he scored at least 10 points to guide the team to an SEC regular season title in a season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quickley was named the SEC Player of the Year by the leagues’ coaches and a First-Team All-SEC honor. He declared for the 2020 NBA Draft in April.
Al Baker (Football 1986-90)
Our final No. 5 played a key role in the UK Football backfield in late 1980s and in 1990. Al Baker ran for 1,427 yards and added 383 receiving yards for a total of 18 touchdowns in his four seasons with the Wildcats.
Baker began to break out in 1988 when he ran for 373 yards and five touchdowns and helped the Wildcats take down No. 11 Georgia at Commonwealth Stadium.
In 1990, Baker led the Wildcats with 780 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns while also adding 317 receiving yards and hauling in two touchdown grabs.
Photo Via: UK Athletics