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Rhyne Howard the projected No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft

Rhyne Howard could be the first ever No. 1 pick for the women’s program next year

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball star Rhyne Howard made the choice to return to Lexington for her final season on the UK Hoops squad.

And with that, she may have just solidified herself as the potential No. 1 pick in next season’s 2022 WNBA Draft.

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo of The Athletic broke down her top-15 for next year’s draft, and Rhyne Howard sat atop the rankings at No. 1.

Howard averaged 20.7 PPG and added 7.3 RBG en route top her second straight SEC Player of the Year award. She also won SEC Freshman of the Year in 2018-19.

Howard should contend for being the best player in women’s hoops next season, alongside of Paige Bueckers of UConn and Caitlyn Clark of Iowa, whom she battled it out with in a losing effort in the second round of this past NCAA Tournament.

If she were to be taken No. 1 overall next year, she would be the first ever No. 1 overall pick for the women’s program, and Kentucky will have had a No. 1 pick in both men’s and women’s hoops.