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Rhyne Howard on Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Women’s midseason team

Junior guard continues to add numerous watch lists for national player of the year to her name this season
Rhyne Howard scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer during a clinching 9-0 run
Rhyne Howard scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer during a clinching 9-0 run(UK Athletics)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Add another national player of the year watch list for University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard Rhyne Howard, who has been tabbed to the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Women’s Midseason Team.

Howard is one of 30 players on the team after being named a finalist for the award last season. The competition will be narrowed down to 10 national semifinalists on March 2 with four finalists being named on March 19. The winner of the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 3.

In the last week alone, Howard has been named one of 10 players to the Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award Top 10 Watch List, Dawn Staley Award Late Season Watch List and John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List.

Howard continues to show why she is the best player in women’s college basketball, leading top-20 Kentucky all season long. The Wildcats have several wins against ranked opponents, including winning back-to-back games vs. No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Mississippi State to start league play. The wins for Kentucky marked the first time the program has ever beat consecutive top-15 league opponents and only the third time it has secured consecutive wins against top-15 ranked foes and the first since December 2013.

Her best performances this season have come against highly ranked opponents. In seven games against ranked foes, Howard is hitting nearly 50 percent from the field and averaging 23.6 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game with 22 assists, 14 steals and four blocks. In four straight games against ranked opponents – vs. Arkansas, at Mississippi State, at Texas A&M and vs. South Carolina – Howard scored a combined 111 points including 33 at Mississippi State and 32 against the Gamecocks. In those four games, Howard combined for 33 rebounds, 18 assists and five steals. Against State, Howard put the team on her back late in the game scoring 25 of her 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. In fact, Howard scored 25 of Kentucky’s final 31 points in the game, including 10 of the team’s 14 overtime points.

The preseason favorite for national player of the year, Howard has lived up to the hype so far in 2020-21, leading Kentucky with 19.7 points per game and adding 7.1 rebounds per game. The guard leads Kentucky with 34 3-pointers made and is second on the team with 56 assists and 27 steals. In SEC play, Howard is averaging 22.6 points per game with 7.7 rebounds per game and leads UK with 37 assists.

Howard continues her move up the career record book at UK, ranking fourth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 192, while her 1,454 career points scored ranks 14th all-time. On the year, Howard has led UK in scoring, rebounding and assists eight times.

Fans are encouraged to visit RhyneHoward.com to keep up with the junior’s campaign to become a unanimous All-America selection and national player of the year.