Former Bearette draws more national attention

Former Bearette draws more national attention

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Former Bradley Central standout Rhyne Howard just keeps raking in the honors as she begins her second season for the University of Kentucky.


This week she was named to the John R. Wooden Award Top 30, Citizen Naismith Trophy Top 50 and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Wade Watch List, putting the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard on all three major national player of the year watch lists this preseason.


The Wade Trophy — now in its 43rd 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 Wade Watch list of candidates for the Wade Trophy is composed of players selected by the WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Selection Committee. The committee will review the list in January to determine if additional players will be added based on their play during the first half of the 2019-20 season.


Howard was one of 30 players from across the nation on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Watch List and one of 50 top players selected for the Citizen Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List.


The 2018 Miss Tennessee Basketball award winner was also named to the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List in late October. The John R. Wooden Award and Citizen Naismith Trophy are presented to the player of the year in women’s college basketball while the Cheryl Miller Award is presented to the nation’s best small forward.


Howard was also a first-team Preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection by league media and league coaches.


The sophomore started her second season strong Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 14 points with 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks in UK’s season-opening win against Mount St. Mary’s.


Although Howard didn’t have the best shooting night, she found ways to help her team, securing her sixth career double-double. In 33 career games, Howard has scored 10 or more points 27 times while she has led UK in scoring in 17 career games and in rebounding in 20 career games.


The reigning national and SEC Freshman of the Year became only the second freshman in program history to lead the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a rookie, joining former UK All-American and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Valerie Still.


Howard ended 2018-19 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.


Kentucky began its 46th season of varsity women’s basketball Tuesday night with its 11th straight season-opening victory. The Wildcats will return to action this afternoon at Middle Tennessee for a 4 p.m. (EST) tip. The game can be seen on ESPN+.


— Banner Assistant Sports Editor Joe Cannon contributed to this story.

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