The Kentucky Wildcats are college basketball's No. 1 team for a reason.
They have some of the best players in the nation, and they continue to get recognition of such by being named to award watch lists. The latest of this involves Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis being named to both the Naismith and the USBWA Oscar Robertson watch lists for national player of the year. Skal and Murray join Isaiah Briscoe in being named to the USBWA's Wayman Tisdale Award watch list for the nation's top freshman.
Ulis, UK's starting point guard and most important player, has averaged 13.2 points and 4.3 assists per game in six starts. The 5-9 guard from Chicago earned SEC Player of the Week honors following an 18-point, six-assist breakout game against No. 5 Duke in the Champions Classic.
Briscoe, a 6-foot-3 guard from Union, N.J., is averaging 12.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 18 points in a win over Illinois State on Monday with Ulis sitting out due to a hyperextended elbow. He has logged double-digit points in all but one game he has played this season.
Labissiere, a 6-11 freshman from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has averaged 12.9 points and 2.1 blocks per game through UK's first seven games. He was named the SEC co-Freshman of the Week following a breakout 26-point performance against NJIT.
Murray, a 6-4 guard from Kitchener, Ontario, is the team's leading scorer at 15 points per contest. He earned MVP honors at the Hoophall Miami Invitational in a career-high 21-point performance in the win over USF. Murray has scored in double-figures in six of his seven games.
Finalists for the awards will be announced in February with the winners revealed at the Final Four in April.