BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman guard/forward James Young has hauled in Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week and ESPN National Player of the Week accolades it was announced on Monday. Young’s SEC Freshman of the Week nod is the second of his career, while ESPN’s Andy Katz tabbed the Rochester Hills, Mich., native as the nation’s top performer.
Young poured in a team-high 18 points while adding career-bests in rebounds (10) and assists (4) in a 73-66 victory over No. 6 Louisville on Saturday. He registered his first career double-double effort with the team-high tying tally of boards, while the four assists also ranked as a team best.
With the game tied at 53, Young hit a 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 Kentucky spurt and put the game away for the Cats over their instate rival.
For the season, Young has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in all but two games this season and multiple 3’s in eight games including the win over Louisville. Through 13 games, Young has connected for 29 long-range shots a mark that ranks 11th in program history for a freshman. He’s also poured in 179 points thus far which is the 52nd most by any UK freshman in program history.
The Wildcats have had three different players garner weekly conference honors this season and Young joins Aaron Harrison as a multiple-week winner. Young was last honored as the league’s top-performing freshman on Nov. 25 following a win over UT Arlington in which he led UK with 26 points and connected for a career-best five 3-pointers.
ESPN’s honor for Young is the first of the season for any UK player. Fellow freshman Julius Randle was named CBSSports.com’s National Player of the Week following the opening week of the season.
Kentucky’s win over Louisville capped the end of the non-conference slate for the Blue and White. UK will next return to action with a home contest vs. Mississippi State on Jan. 8. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET and will air live on channels affiliated with SEC TV.