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Rhyne Howard wins SEC Player of the Year; Chasity Patterson on All-Defensive team

Rhyne Howard scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the 17th-ranked Kentucky women’s...
Rhyne Howard scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the 17th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Florida 88-80(UK Athletics)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 4:15 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky junior guard Rhyne Howard has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season by league coaches after putting together yet another record-breaking season for the top-20 ranked Wildcats. 

Howard, who was also named to the All-SEC First Team, was joined on the list of league honors by senior guard Chasity Patterson, who was tabbed to the SEC All-Defensive Team. This is the second conference honor for Patterson, who last season was named the SEC’s 6th Woman of the Year. 

Howard continues to place her name all over the SEC honor sheet, earning multiple conference honors for the third straight season. In 2020, the native of Cleveland, Tennessee, was tabbed the SEC Player of the Year, All-SEC First Team and SEC All-Defensive Team. As a freshman in 2019, Howard was the SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC First Team.

Howard is the third player in program history to earn All-SEC First-Team honors from league coaches three times, joining Makayla Epps and Leslie Nichols. The guard becomes just the third player in SEC history to earn two player of the year honors prior to their senior seasons, joining South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell (2014 and 2015) and A’ja Wilson (2016, 2017 and 2018). Howard and former UK All-American A’dia Mathies are now the only players in Kentucky women’s basketball history to earn multiple player of the year honors from league coaches.

Howard’s honor gives Kentucky five SEC Player of the Year honors since 2010, tied for the most in the league during that stretch with South Carolina. UK and USC have claimed 10 of the last 12 player of the year honors with Tennessee and Mississippi State each claiming one during that time span. UK’s honors have been claimed by three different players in Victoria Dunlap, Mathies and Howard.

Patterson, who is a semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year award, has had an impressive senior season for UK, ranking top-five nationally with 70 steals and top-15 nationally with 3.0 steals per game. Her impressive steal total this season has moved her up to seventh in program history in steals per game with over 2.26. The Houston native has started all 23 contests, averaging 13.2 points per game on 48.5% shooting from the field. She is hitting 37.5 percent from 3 and has dished out 62 assists this season.

The guard has recorded seven or more steals four times this season, including four or more steals in three Southeastern Conference games. Patterson is the only player in the SEC this season to record eight or more steals in a game, doing it an impressive three times. On the year, Patterson has led UK in scoring five times, assists seven times and steals 13 times.

The speedy guard has put her name all over the UK record book this season becoming the third player in school history to score at least 30 points in a season opener. She is also the third player in program history to record 10 or more steals in a game while her and Nichols are the only players to record eight or more steals in three or more games in a season.

 2021 All-SEC Honors

  • Player of the Year – Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
  • Freshman of the Year – Madison Scott, Ole Miss
  • Co-Defensive Players of the Year – Que Morrison, Georgia & Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • 6th Woman of the Year – Destiny Pitts, Texas A&M
  • Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M
  • Coach of the Year – Joni Taylor, Georgia 

First Team All-SEC

  • Jasmine Walker, Alabama
  • Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
  • Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
  • Khayla Pointer, LSU
  • Shakira Austin, Ole Miss
  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • Zia Cooke, South Carolina
  • Rennia Davis, Tennessee
  • N’dea Jones, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC

  • Jordan Lewis, Alabama
  • Unique Thompson, Auburn
  • Destiny Slocum, Arkansas
  • Lavender Briggs, Florida
  • Jenna Staiti, Georgia
  • Aijha Blackwell, Missouri
  • Rae Burrell, Tennessee
  • Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M

All-Freshman

  • Romi Levy, Auburn
  • Jordyn Merritt, Florida
  • Sarah Ashlee Barker, Georgia
  • Snudda Collins, Ole Miss
  • Madison Scott, Ole Miss
  • Madison Hayes, Mississippi State
  • Mama Dembele, Missouri
  • Marta Suárez, Tennessee

All-Defensive

  • Que Morrison, Georgia
  • Khayla Pointer, LSU
  • Chasity Patterson, Kentucky
  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • Tamari Key, Tennessee