Howard is the lone sophomore on the list and one of three SEC Players to make final 10
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball sophomore guard Rhyne Howard has been tabbed one of 10 players nationally – and the only sophomore – as a semifinalist for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy Women’s Player of the Year Award.
Four finalists for the award will be announced March 20 and fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite player of the four beginning that same day through April 1, by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 4, 2020. The winner will be honored at her school on a later date.
Howard has had a sensational sophomore season for Kentucky, leading the Wildcats and ranking third nationally with 23.3 points per game. The guard also leads UK with 6.4 rebounds per game and 58 steals, while she is second on the team with 27 blocks and third on the team with 60 assists. Howard has hit 77 3-pointers this season, which ranks second most in program history, needing just four more makes from 3 to tie the program record set by Sara Potts in 2004-05. Howard’s 23.3 scoring average is the most for a UK player under Matthew Mitchell and the fourth-best average in program history.
The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, has been named SEC Player of the Week four times this season and was espnW National Player of the Week in early January. Howard is on nearly every national player of the year watch list this season. Most recently, she was named to the WBCA Wade Trophy Midseason Watch List. She has also been tabbed a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award, which annually honors the best small forward in women’s college basketball, John R. Wooden Award Late-Season Top 20 and Dawn Staley Award Midseason Watch List, establishing her as a top candidate for national player of the year.
So far this season, Howard has placed her name all over the Kentucky record books as the only player in program history to score 25+ points in five straight games while she is the second player to score 20+ points in eight straight games. Part of that impressive stretch was 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 become the second fastest UK player ever to reach 1,000 career points and currently has 1,108 career points which ranks 28th on UK’s all-time scoring list.
Kentucky ended the regular season with a 21-7 record and earned the No. 3 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament. The Wildcats will receive a double bye in the event and play either Ole Miss, Missouri or Tennessee in the quarterfinals at approx. 8:30 p.m. ET Friday night. The game will be televised on SEC Network. Full SEC Tournament information can be found on secsports.com.