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Kentucky Basketball: Julius Randle, James Young, and Willie Cauley-Stein Honored By The SEC

Three Kentucky players received all-SEC honors in some capacity today.

Rob Foldy

Julius Randle was named Freshman of the Year by the Southeastern Conference today, an honor he most certainly deserves. From the Kentucky Kernel:

Randle is the fifth consecutive UK freshmen to receive the honor, joining DeMarcus Cousins, Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel.

Randle, who also made the All-SEC First Team, is only the second Cat to average a double-double since Kenny Walker did it during the 1984-85 season (Davis, 2011-12).

Randle has been extremely impressive this season as an offensive player and a rebounder. He's drawn double and triple-teams from virtually every team the Wildcats have faced, and he has managed to keep a very level head about him. He definitely deserves this honor.

On the downside, it's fair to mention that Randle has been a very average defender, although recently his defensive efforts have taken a notable tick up, unlike his teammate and fellow freshmen James Young and Andrew Harrison. In my opinion, Aaron Harrison has been significantly better than his brother defensively, but to be fair, he rarely has to guard as many lightning-quick small guards, and that may have had a significant impact on Andrew's defense.

Willie Cauley-Stein was also named to the All-SEC defensive team, an honor he most certainly deserves. I think if WCS had been more consistent in his intensity, he could have run off with defensive player of the year, but alas.

Randle was also named first-team All-SEC (kind of seems like a tautology, doesn't it?) along with Trevor Releford of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Casey Prather and Scottie Wilbekin of the Florida Gators, Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes of the Tennessee Volunteers, Jabari Brown of the Missouri Tigers, and Johnny O'Bryant III of LSU. I love this team, I think is is just about perfect.

James Young made the All-Freshman team along with Randle. Check here for the full list of honorees. Congratulations to all.