Fox, Monk power Kentucky rout
Freshman De’Aaron Fox posted the second tripledouble in school history with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead a dominating effort by No. 1 Kentucky in a 115-69 victory over Arizona State on Monday night in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Fellow freshman Malik Monk scored 23 points for the Wildcats (7-0), who dominated an undersized team and quickly turned the game into a romping display of their athleticism and ability to run in transition.
Kentucky led by double figures roughly 6 minutes in, led 58-30 by halftime then scored the first 12 points after the break to go up 40 with 15 minutes left.
Sam Cunliffe scored 14 points for the Sun Devils (4-3), who shot just 34 percent while the Wildcats scored 21 points off turnovers.
The game, billed as the Atlantis Showcase, was played at the same ballroom-turned-arena that hosted last week’s Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. It’s all Wildcats: Kentucky and Villanova remain the top two teams in the Associated Press poll while Baylor made the week’s biggest jump, from No. 20 to ninth.
Kentucky (6-0) received 40 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel while Villanova was No. 1 on 20 ballots.
North Carolina (7-0), which moved up one place to third after winning the Maui Invitational, got four No. 1 votes. Kansas, Duke and Virginia all moved up one place to fourth through sixth. Xavier moved up two places to seventh and Gonzaga went up three spots to eighth.
Baylor (6-0), which beat Michigan State and Louisville in winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, got the other first-place vote and was followed in the top 10 by Creighton.
Three teams are making their first appearance of the season in the Top 25: Butler, South Carolina and Florida.
UCLA was 11th, followed by Saint Mary’s and Indiana, which dropped 10 places following its loss to Indiana- Purdue Fort Wayne.
The four teams that dropped out were No. 22 Texas, No. 24 Michigan State and Michigan and Florida State, which were tied for 25th.
Capitals forward T.J. Oshie practiced with his teammates again Monday, seemingly making progress on an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered Nov. 18 against the Red Wings. Oshie indicated it was a shoulder injury, and he didn’t participate in contact drills.
“I guess the next step for me really is to be in a position where, when I’m on the ice, my injury is not going to affect the outcome of the game negatively for the team,” said Oshie, who scored eight goals in the first 17 games.
Coach Barry Trotz said after practice that Oshie, who has missed four games thus far, won’t play this week.
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said there’s a possibility second-year center Jack Eichel (ankle) will make his season debut against the Senators tonight in Ottawa, Ontario. ... Hurricanes C Jordan Staal will be out indefinitely after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s win over the Panthers. ... Red Wings D Brendan Smith will miss about four weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee and F Tyler Bertuzzi will miss three to five weeks with a high left ankle sprain.