Rhyne Howard Makes WBCA Wade Trophy Midseason Watch List
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Add another national player of the year watch list to Rhyne Howard’s prestigious list of accolades this season as the University of Kentucky sophomore guard has been tabbed to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Wade Trophy Midseason Watch List.
The Wade Trophy — now in its 43nd year — is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen. First awarded in 1978 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), now known as SHAPE America, the Wade Trophy has been presented to the WBCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Year since 2001. The WBCA will announce the four finalists for the honor in mid-March. The winner of the 2020 Wade Trophy will be announced April 2 in New Orleans — site of the 2020 WBCA Convention and NCAA Women’s Final Four.
The native of Cleveland, Tennessee has been named SEC Player of the Week four times this season – including earlier this week – 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 tabbed a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award, which annually honors the best small forward in women’s college basketball. She has also been named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30, 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.
Howard recently missed three games due to a finger injury, but has returned to play the last two games and performed well. Most recently, the guard scored a game-high 26 points against highly ranked Mississippi State adding 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. The double-double was her fifth of the season while the 20-point performance was her 15th of the year. Howard has now scored 20 or more points in 10 of her last 11 games while she has led UK in scoring 16 times this year and in rebounding 10 times. Howard’s defense was also key in the win as the Wildcats limited Mississippi State to a season-low tying 62 points including a season-low nine points in the first quarter.
Howard is having an incredible season for the Wildcats, who are 19-5 and currently ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25. Howard is averaging 23.2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game, adding 65 3-pointers, 53 assists, 48 steals and 23 blocks. 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.
Howard has 1,012 career points becoming the second-fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Even missing three games, Howard has scored 487 points this season which ranks 13th most in the nation and first in the SEC while her 23.2 points per game is second nationally and first in the league. Howard also ranks eighth nationally and second in the SEC with 3.1 3-pointers per game.
Kentucky will return to action Thursday at Ole Miss at 8 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ before hosting No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday for a 2 p.m. ET tip on ESPN2. General admission tickets for Sunday’s game are available online at ticketmaster.com for just $3 using the promo code Play4Kay. Fans will be encouraged at the game to write names of those effected by cancer on Play4Kay I am Fighting For cards with a display of the cards occurring in the first quarter.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.