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Two UK Basketball players win SEC Weekly Honors

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 2:27 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) - Kentucky junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe was named Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week and freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr. was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office on Monday. Tshiebwe shared Player of the Week with Tennessee’s John Fulkerson, while Washington hauled in Freshman of the Week accolades for the second time this season.

Tshiebwe and Washington were integral pieces in Kentucky’s 95-60 victory over Western Kentucky on Wednesday. Tshiebwe enjoyed a record-breaking day with 28 rebounds and 14 points, while Washington scored 20 points and reached the plateau for the third time this season.

Tshiebwe was also honored as the National Player of the Week by Andy Katz of March Madness. He’s the second straight Wildcat to win the national honor as Sahvir Wheeler earned the recognition last week.

UK’s junior forward set a Rupp Arena record with the 28 rebounds, breaking the previous mark of 21 set by Shaquille O’Neal on Feb. 15, 1990. It tied for the sixth-most rebounds in UK history and the most in more than 45 years, when Mike Phillips corralled 28 in an overtime game vs. Tennessee on Jan. 10, 1976. The 28 rebounds are the most for any UK player in a regulation-length game in more than 52 years, when Dan Issel grabbed 29 vs. LSU on Feb. 22, 1969.

According to STATS, Tshiebwe’s 28 rebounds are the most in Division I college basketball since Kendall Gray from Delaware State registered 30 at Coppin State on March 5, 2015. Tshiebwe’s mark is tied for the fourth-most rebounds in Division I action dating back to the 1996-97 season.

At the beginning of the season, Tshiebwe noted his season goal was to average 20 rebounds per game. He has reached the benchmark three times this season thus far. He has recorded double-digit boards in all but one game this season.

Tshiebwe also contributed on the offensive end with 14 points to mark his ninth double-double of the season, which ranked second in the country through games on Dec. 22.

Tshiebwe is currently leading the Wildcats in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (15.5), blocks per game (1.6) and field-goal percentage (64.9%). Since the 1978-79 season, only four Wildcats have led the team in those four categories (minimum 130 field-goal attempts) in a single season (Kenny Walker in 1984-85 and 1985-86, Jamaal Magloire in 1999-2000, Randolph Morris in 2006-07, and Anthony Davis in 2011-12).

Washington played an all-around offensive game in the dominating win vs. Western Kentucky. He scored 20 points on 69.2% shooting. It was the eighth time he’s reached double figures and the third time he’s hit the 20-point threshold. It also was the seventh time he’s made at least half of his field-goal attempts (9 of 13), and he is shooting better than 50% excluding the season opener.

The freshman also contributed a career-high six assists and has totaled at least four in each of the last four games for the Wildcats.

Washington is averaging 13.9 points per game and 3.6 assists per game for the season. Those marks are both second best on the team.

This is the first time two UK players have earned SEC honors in the same week since Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey were named Player and Freshman of the Week, respectively, on Jan. 13, 2020.

The Wildcats have now earned four honors this season. Wheeler won SEC Player of the Week a week ago following his 26-point effort against North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic. This is the second time this season Washington has claimed the Freshman of the Week honor. He was also recognized on Nov. 22 after averaging a team-high 18.0 points per game in wins over Mount St. Mary’s and Ohio.

Kentucky has dominated the weekly SEC awards with John Calipari at the helm. UK has won more weekly SEC honors (114) than any other school during the Calipari era, including 87 SEC Freshman of the Week honors and 27 SEC Player of the Week awards.

The Wildcats open league play this week as Missouri visits Rupp Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on SEC Network. Tickets in the 200 level are available for the game with full proceeds going to the American Red Cross to benefit the Kentucky United tornado disaster relief funds. Those tickets can be purchased at //bit.ly/32x4B6O.

Kentucky has won 49 SEC regular-season titles and 31 SEC Tournament championships, far and away the most in the league. UK has won six regular-reason and six tournament crowns under Calipari.

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