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Rhyne Howard named SEC Player of the Year; Chasity Patterson on All-Defensive Team

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Howard was also named a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Kentucky at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats junior guard Rhyne Howard has been named the SEC Player of the Year for the second straight season by league coaches.

Howard, who was also named to the All-SEC First Team, was joined on the list of SEC honors by senior guard Chasity Patterson, who was tabbed to the SEC All-Defensive Team. This is the second conference honor for Patterson, who last season was named the SEC’s 6th Woman of the Year.

In addition, Howard has been named one of 11 semifinalists for the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Women’s National Player of the Year. The winner of the award will be announced on April 3.

Howard, who is the only Power 5 conference player in the nation averaging over 19 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game with at least 40 steals and 70 assists, is having another banner season for the Wildcats. The only player in the SEC currently leading her team in scoring, rebounding and assists, Howard is averaging 19.8 points per game with 7.5 rebounds per game. She is leading Kentucky with 73 assists and ranks second on the team with 44 steals and third with 16 blocks. In league action, Howard averaged 21.6 points per game with 7.9 rebounds per game with 54 assists and 31 steals.

For her career, Howard has scored 1,553 career points sitting 10th in UK history in points scored. She needs 10 more to tie Sara Potts for ninth. Howard is the second player in school history to reach 1,500 career points prior to their senior season with the other being All-American and UK all-time leading scorer Valerie Still.

Patterson, who is a semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year award, has had an impressive senior season for UK, ranking top-five nationally with 70 steals and top-15 nationally with 3.0 steals per game. She has started all 23 games while averaging 13.2 points per game on 48.5% shooting from the field. She is hitting 37.5 percent from deep with 62 assists this season.

Patterson is the only player in the SEC this season to record eight or more steals in a game, doing it an impressive three times. On the year, Patterson has led UK in scoring five times, assists seven times, and steals 13 times.

Howard, Patterson and No. 17 Kentucky will return to action Thursday in the second round of the SEC Tournament as the 5 seed vs. the winner of 13 seeded Auburn and 12th seeded Florida at approx. 1 pm ET.

2021 All-SEC Honors

  • Player of the Year – Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
  • Freshman of the Year – Madison Scott, Ole Miss
  • Co-Defensive Players of the Year – Que Morrison, Georgia & Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • 6th Woman of the Year – Destiny Pitts, Texas A&M
  • Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M
  • Coach of the Year – Joni Taylor, Georgia

First Team All-SEC

  • Jasmine Walker, Alabama
  • Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
  • Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
  • Khayla Pointer, LSU
  • Shakira Austin, Ole Miss
  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • Zia Cooke, South Carolina
  • Rennia Davis, Tennessee
  • N’dea Jones, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC

  • Jordan Lewis, Alabama
  • Unique Thompson, Auburn
  • Destiny Slocum, Arkansas
  • Lavender Briggs, Florida
  • Jenna Staiti, Georgia
  • Aijha Blackwell, Missouri
  • Rae Burrell, Tennessee
  • Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M

All-Freshman

  • Romi Levy, Auburn
  • Jordyn Merritt, Florida
  • Sarah Ashlee Barker, Georgia
  • Snudda Collins, Ole Miss
  • Madison Scott, Ole Miss
  • Madison Hayes, Mississippi State
  • Mama Dembele, Missouri
  • Marta Suárez, Tennessee

All-Defensive

  • Que Morrison, Georgia
  • Khayla Pointer, LSU
  • Chasity Patterson, Kentucky
  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
  • Tamari Key, Tennessee