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Tyler Herro named NBA Sixth Man of the Year

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) brings the ball up court as Detroit Pistons forward Tyler...
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) brings the ball up court as Detroit Pistons forward Tyler Cook (25) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)(Carlos Osorio | AP)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 8:00 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Former Kentucky men’s basketball star Tyler Herro (2019) was named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year on Tuesday after leading the league among all reserves with 20.7 points per game during the regular season.

Herro topped Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Phoenix’s Cam Johnson with a commanding 96 first-place votes and 488 total points in voting conducted from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. Love finished in second with three first-place votes and 214 total points.

Herro becomes the first Wildcat to win the award as well as the first player from the Miami Heat to claim the honor, which began in 1983.

UK head coach John Calipari has now coached a player that has won Most Valuable Player (Derrick Rose – 2011), Rookie of the Year (Rose – 2009, Tyreke Evans – 2010, Karl-Anthony Towns – 2016), Most Improved Player (Julius Randle – 2021), Defensive Player of the Year (Marcus Camby – 2007) and Sixth Man of the Year. He is the only collegiate coach in history to have a former player win each of the major NBA honors.

Herro appeared in 66 regular-season games for the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. He shot 39.9% from 3-point range and averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. His scoring average led the league for all reserves.

Herro had eight 30-point games off the bench this season which tied for the third-most by a reserve in NBA history. His 20 games of 25 or more were the fourth-most in NBA history off the bench. Furthermore, he scored 1,162 total points off the bench which broke Dwyane Wade’s franchise record of 1,208 in 2018-19.

The Milwaukee native averaged career highs in points per game, rebounds, assists, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage in his third season in the league.

Herro played one season for the Wildcats helping UK to an Elite Eight appearance in 2019. He was the Southeastern Conference’s Newcomer of the Year as voted on by the Associated Press and was an All-SEC Second Team selection by the league’s coaches. He started in all 37 games and averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Herro drained a team-high 60 3-pointers and registered a team-high 29 double-figure scoring efforts. With 25 seconds remaining in the Sweet 16 he sank a go-ahead 3-pointer against No. 11 Houston and then hit two free throws nine seconds later to cap a 19-point performance to send UK to the Elite Eight.

He was drafted 13th overall by the Heat in 2019 and had a memorable run to the NBA Finals during his rookie season. He was the youngest player ever to drop 30 points in a playoff game off the bench and hit 48 3-pointers in the postseason, the most of any NBA rookie during the playoffs in history.

Herro and the Heat return to action Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Herro scored 25 points and added seven assists in Monday’s opening victory of the series.

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