After being named a top-four or top-five finalist for the Wooden Award, Citizen Naismith Trophy, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and Cheryl Miller Award along with first-team All-America honors by the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association and the Wooden Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association has tabbed University of Kentucky sophomore guard Rhyne Howard an All-America honorable mention, it was announced Thursday.
Last week, Howard was one of 52 players nationally selected as a regional finalists for the 10-member WBCA All-America Team. This is the second year in a row that the guard has been tabbed All-America honorable mention by the association. The honorable mention honor comes hours after Howard was named one of five finalists for the Wooden Award, which is widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball and names the nation’s best player. The finalists for the award were named on SportsCenter last night.
Earlier this postseason, Howard became the third player in program history to earn first-team All-America honors from the USBWA, which automatically made her one of five candidates for the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year award from the USBWA. This postseason she also became the first player in program history to earn first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. She is the fifth Kentucky player in program history to earn first-team All-America honors from a major organization, joining Pam Browning (1977, Street and Smith’s), Valerie Still (1981, 82, 83, Street and Smith’s), Dunlap (2010, USBWA and WBCA) and Mathies (2012, USBWA). Howard became the 11th All-America honoree in program history last season when she earned All-America honorable mention by the WBCA. She is the second UK player behind Still to earn three or more first-team All-America honors in the same season.
Howard is also one of four finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding women’s college basketball player of the year. She is looking to become the first Kentucky player to win the prestigious award while she is believed to be the first to make the top-four finalists for the award, which started in 1983. The winner of the award will be announced Friday at Noon ET on CBS Sports HQ. Howard is a top-five finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award, which names the top small forward of the year in collegiate women’s basketball.
The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, was recently named by league coaches the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, First-Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team. She was a four-time honoree of the SEC Player of the Week award and was espnW National Player of the Week in January.
Howard had a sensational sophomore season for Kentucky, leading the Wildcats and ranking second nationally with 23.4 points per game. The guard also led UK with 6.5 rebounds per game and 62 steals, while she was second on the team with 29 blocks and third on the team with 68 assists. Howard hit 84 3-pointers this season, which was the most in program history in a single season, topping the previous record of 81 set by Sara Potts in 2004-05. Her 3.1 3-pointers per game ranked top-10 nationally while her 633 total points ranked fifth nationally. Howard’s 23.4 scoring average was the most for a UK player under Matthew Mitchell and the fourth-best average in program history.
Howard placed her name all over the Kentucky record books this season as the only player in program history to score 25 or more points in five straight games while she was the second player to score 20 or more points in eight straight games. Howard had two stretches during the season of 20 or more points in eight straight games, including each of her last eight games played after missing three games with a finger injury.
Two of the top-12 scoring performances in program history have come this season by Howard. The first was her 37 points in UK’s win vs. Tennessee followed by a school-record tying 43 points at Alabama. She is the only player in program history to score 37+ points in consecutive games and the first to hit seven or more 3-pointers in consecutive games. On top of earning six double-doubles this season, Howard became the second fastest UK player ever to reach 1,000 career points and ended the season with 1,158 career points which ranks 27th on UK’s all-time scoring list.
‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact: