Rhyne Howard on Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy watch list
The preseason honors for University of Kentucky women’s basketball guard Rhyne Howard continue to pour in as the sophomore has been named to her second preseason national player of the year watch list in as many days as The Atlanta Tipoff Club placed Howard on its Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy Top 50 Watch List on Wednesday.
The Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 will be announced in early February, and then the competition will be narrowed down to 10 national semifinalists on March 3. Following those results, four finalists will be named on March 20 and the winner of the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 4.
“While only one player can win the Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy, each of the players on the watch list has shown the passion and drive worthy of the honor thus far,” said Eric Horowitz, managing director U.S. and travel retail, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. "We are looking forward to watching them continue to compete for the title of Women’s Player of the Year.”
On Tuesday, Howard was one of 30 players on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Watch List, while she was also named to the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List in late October. The John R. Wooden Award is presented to the player of the year in women’s college basketball while the Cheryl Miller Award is presented to the nation’s best small forward. Howard was also a first-team Preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection by league media and league coaches.
The sophomore started her second season strong Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 14 points with 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks in UK’s season-opening win against Mount St. Mary’s. Although Howard didn’t have the best shooting night, the guard found ways to help her team, securing her sixth career double-double. In 33 career games, Howard has scored 10 or more points 27 times while she has led UK in scoring in 17 career games and in rebounding in 20 career games.
The reigning national and SEC Freshman of the Year became only the second freshman in program history to lead the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a rookie, joining former UK All-American and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Valerie Still. Howard ended 2018-19 leading UK with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while she ranked second with 68 steals and 74 3-pointers made and third in assists and blocks.