Sophomore is one of 20 players on preseason watch list for small forward of the year
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The preseason accolades continue to come in for University of Kentucky sophomore Rhyne Howard as she has been tabbed one of 20 players nationally to the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List. The Cheryl Miller Award annually recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The selection committee for the Cheryl Miller Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Miller and the hall of fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2020 Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, California, on April 10 along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.
Howard, who was tabbed to the Preseason All-Southeastern Conference First Team by league media last week, is coming off an incredible first year at Kentucky where she was named unanimous national freshman of the year by espnW, USBWA and WBCA. The national recognition was added to her already lengthy list of honors last season as the SEC Freshman of the Year by league coaches and SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press. She was also named WBCA All-America honorable mention, first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman Team and second-team All-SEC by the AP.
The guard put herself in elite company last season as only the second freshman in program history to lead the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a rookie, joining UK All-American and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Valerie Still. Howard ended the season leading UK with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while she ranked second with 68 steals and 74 3-pointers made and third in assists and blocks. She scored in double figures in 26 games with 20 or more points in 10 games while she was the only freshman in the country with 500+ points, 70+ 3s, 75+ assists and 65+ steals while she ranked third among freshmen nationally in points and points per game.
The Wildcats won 25 games in 2018-19, including 11 in league play to finish fourth in the SEC. Mitchell, who was named the Co-SEC Coach of the Year last season, returns a lengthy list of players for this upcoming season, including three starters in Howard, KeKe McKinney and Tatyana Wyatt. In total, the Wildcats are set to return 63 percent of its scoring, 62 percent of its made 3-point field goals, 87 percent of its offensive rebounding, 81 percent of its total rebounding, 60 percent of its assists, 77 percent of its blocks and 58 percent of its steals.
UK will also add incoming true freshmen Emma King along with transfers Sabrina Haines, Nae Nae Cole and Chasity Patterson. Dre Edwards, a transfer from Utah who was the 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, joined the Wildcats this spring but will have to sit out the 2019-20 season due to NCAA transfer rules. True freshman Deasia Merrill will miss the 2019-20 season due to a knee injury.
Season tickets and single-game tickets are on sale not at UKathletics.com/tickets. Purchasing season tickets offers the best option and price savings for fans. New season ticket purchases are available in upper-level reserved chairbacks (sections AA-JJ), lower-level reserved bleachers (sections R-Z) or general admission bleachers (sections RR-ZZ) for $69 per ticket. Lower-level reserved chairbacks (A-J) sections are sold out again this season. Single-game tickets are $10 (all ages) in reserved seating areas, while general admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children (ages 6-18) and seniors (age 65+). Children aged 5 and under do not require a ticket in general admission areas.