Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard Named SEC Player of the Year
(ukathletics.com) LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball sophomore guard Rhyne Howard and junior guard Chasity Patterson have been named All-Southeastern Conference performers by league coaches for their impressive seasons on the hardwood, the league office announced Tuesday.
Howard, who graduated from Bradley Central high school, was tabbed the SEC Player of the Year, All-SEC First Team and SEC All-Defensive Team while Patterson was named the SEC 6th Woman of the Year. Howard becomes the third player in program history to win the league’s top honor joining Victoria Dunlap and A’dia Mathies while she is the first UK player to accomplish the feat as a sophomore. Last year, Howard was SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC First Team. This is the first league honor for Patterson, who joins Keyla Snowden and Jennifer O’Neill as the only UK players to claim the 6th woman of the year award.
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 one of 10 semifinalists for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy. 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.