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Keith Taylor: UK signees Fox, Monk provide glimpse into future; Briscoe, Lee to explore options


Kentucky won’t have Tyler Ulis or Jamal Murray next season, but the backcourt duo to De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk provided impressive performances in the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend in Brooklyn, giving Big Blue Nation a glimpse of what to expect next season.

Fox and Monk combined for 45 points and shared the Most Valuable Player award for the East and West squads. Fox finished with 23 points and added five rebounds. Monk scored 22 points, had three assists and three steals in the prestigious event.

Malik Monk had an impressive performance in the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend in Brooklyn

Malik Monk had an impressive performance in the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend in Brooklyn

The East team, led by Fox, defeated the West squad 131-117. Fox was impressed by the crowd in his first visit to the Big Apple.

“It was my first time in New York and this is the basketball side of the United States,” Fox told USA Today. “I just came out and performed for this crowd and it was ridiculous. We have fans like that in Texas, but they’re football fans.”

In addition to the performances by the Wildcats’ future backcourt duo, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo added 15 points and five rebounds. Kenyan Gabriel chipped in with four points, three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.

Briscoe, Lee to explore options

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee likely will visit the NBA Draft combine before making a decision on returning to campus next season.

“Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee are going to explore their options and probably go to the combine with an agent (and) finish academically,” the Kentucky coach said on the Bob Valvano Show in Louisville last week.

Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere have already declared for the draft.

Towles chucks it in Boston College debut

Former Kentucky quarterback and Fort Thomas Highlands standout Patrick Towles made his debut at Boston College in the Eagles’ spring game last weekend.

Towles completed two passes on four attempts for five yards. Darius Wade, battling Towles for the starting job, threw for 181 yards and led the Maroon team to a 6-2 victory over Towles and the white squad.

Boston College coach Steve Addazio praised the play of both quarterbacks following the scrimmage.

“They’re all throwing it really good,” he said. “Obviously, Darius and Patrick are taking all of the reps. I think they’ve both done a great job. I thought that they both threw the ball really well. I thought Patrick threw the ball really well. A couple of drops out there on that guy, but he chucked it. And Darius chucked it. They both got the thing out of their hands, now. That’s as good as I’ve seen guys chuck it around.”

Towles said the Boston College offense is more “complex” than the one he ran at Kentucky and said Saturday’s scrimmage was “pretty vanilla.”

“I like it,” Towles said. “It’s going to prepare me well for hopefully the next level. It’s a lot of different packages and a lot of shifts and motions, but coach (Scot) Loeffler has been awesome. So I’m just excited.”

Towles started Kentucky’s first 10 games last season before being replaced by Drew Barker in the final two games.

Harris impressive in Alabama A-Day

Former Madison Southern High School product and five-star recruit Damien Harris was named Most Valuable Player in Alabama’s spring game last weekend.

Harris rushed for 114 yards on 20 carries and added two catches for 20 yards. The performance gave Harris more leverage in his battle with teammate Bo Scarborough for the starting job at running back.

“Damien Harris had a really nice day,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “He looked quick and explosive and did a nice job.”

Harris, the top instate prospect in the class of 2015, chose Alabama over Kentucky and Ohio State.

Keith Taylor is a senior sports writer for KyForward, where he primarily covers University of Kentucky sports. Reach him at keith.taylor@kyforward.com or @keithtaylor21 on Twitter


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