Monday, November 17, 2014

Lyles Named SEC Freshman of The Week

Freshman Trey Lyles was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week and four Wildcats were tabbed to the Wooden Award watch list, it was announced Monday. Lyles was the lone Wildcat to score in double figures in both victories to begin the year for the No. 1-ranked Wildcats. Lyles went for 14 points and four rebounds in his career debut against Grand Canyon. He shot 60 percent from the floor and knocked down a 3-pointer.

In the win over Buffalo, Lyles scored the first five points of the second half to spark the Wildcats to a 9-0 run. Lyles had a team-high 12 points, added four rebounds and dished out a career-high three assists. He hit 80 percent of his shots and helped UK’s defense stifle the Bulls into just four made field goals in the second half.

It is the first such honor of Lyles’ career and the first of the season for the Wildcats.

Also, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its Preseason Top 50 on ESPN's SportsCenter and on for the Wooden Award. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early frontrunners for the sport’s most prestigious honor. Four Wildcats were among the list of 50.

Junior Willie Cauley-Stein, sophomores Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and freshman Karl-Anthony Towns helped lead UK with four selections to the preseason list.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy's. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players for the midseason list in early January. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 grade-point average will be placed on the ballot and submitted to voters prior to the NCAA Tournament and voting will take into account play during the opening rounds of the tournament. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.  It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11).
Top-ranked Kentucky resumes action on Tuesday in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. UK takes on No. 5 Kansas in a tilt slated for approximately 9:30 p.m.

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