As the Kentucky women’s basketball team has wrapped up a season that went better than expected, freshman guard Rhyne Howard has started racking up an impressive list of awards. After being named Freshman of the Year by ESPN and the Women’s Basketball Writer’s Association, she has now been named the nation’s top rookie by the USBWA. This makes Howard the unanimous national Freshman of the Year.
She averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds this season, leading the team in both categories. She was second on the team in steals (68) and three-pointers made (74), and she came in third in blocks and assists.
Howard is the first player in Kentucky women’s basketball history to take home this prestigious award, and just the sixth SEC player to ever do so. She was also named SEC Freshman of the Year by SEC coaches and the conference’s Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press.
She also holds the school record for most three-pointers made by a freshman and is second in both points and points per game. She had 26 games of finishing with double figures, ten games with 20 or more points, and racked up five double-doubles on the season.
Howard’s performance as a freshman will be difficult to match at Kentucky. She has already left her mark on program history, but with three years left I think she will give fans even more to be excited about in the seasons to come. With Rhyne Howard on the roster, coach Matthew Mitchell, as well as all off Big Blue Nation, has to be excited about the future of this program.