Rhyne Howard is one of the best in all of women’s hoops, so she’s rightfully racking up the preseason accolades.
On Tuesday, Howard was named Preseason SEC Player of the Year, made the 2021 Women’s Naismith Trophy watch list (national player of the year, and was included on the 2021 Wade Trophy watch list (also a national player of the year award).
This comes after Howard was previously a unanimous selection to the preseason AP All-America Team. She’s also the first Kentucky women’s basketball player to be named a preseason First-Team All-American.
Howard is coming off a marvelous sophomore season, leading the Wildcats and ranking second nationally with 23.4 points per game. The guard also led UK with 6.5 rebounds per contest and 62 total steals while ranking second on the team in blocks (29) and third in assists (68).
Howard hit 84 triples that season, which was the most in program history in a single season, topping the previous record of 81 set by Sara Potts in 2004-05. The scoring average was the most for a UK player under Matthew Mitchell and the fourth-best average in program history.
The 6-2 junior guard is the only player in program history to score 25 or more points in five straight games. Howard had two stretches during the season of 20 or more points in eight straight games, including each of her last eight games played after missing three games with a finger injury.
Two of the top-12 scoring performances in program history came last season by Howard. The first was her 37 points in UK’s win vs. Tennessee followed by a school-record tying 43 points at Alabama. She is the only player in program history to score 37+ points in consecutive games and the first to hit seven or more threes in consecutive games.
Howard enters the 2020-21 season ranked 27th on UK’s all-time scoring list at 1,158 career points.