Rhyne Howard makes Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list

Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) brings the ball up court during the first half of an...
Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) brings the ball up court during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)(Kamil Krzaczynski | AP)
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 1:08 PM EST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Rhyne Howard has been tabbed one of 25 players to the 2020-21 John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, continuing her candidacy to become the national player of the year in women’s college basketball.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s.

It has been a week full of honors for Howard, who earned her fifth career Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honor earlier this week. The weekly superlative from the league marked the 13th honor from the league in her career, which currently leads all active league players. She was also named the Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week, espnW National Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week.

Howard continues to show why she is the best player in women’s college basketball, leading Kentucky to back-to-back wins last week against No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Mississippi State. 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.

In the league opener vs. Arkansas, Howard scored 24 points with 10 rebounds, adding four 3s and four assists. The 24 points were a season high before she paced Kentucky at No. 12 Mississippi State with 33 points, adding 10 rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal. 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 18.8 points per game and adding 7.3 rebounds per game. The guard leads Kentucky with 23 3-pointers made and is second on the team with 29 assists and 14 steals. In two league games, Howard is averaging 28.5 points per game with 10.0 rebounds per game and is 8-for-13 from 3 with 10 assists.