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ESPN ranks Rhyne Howard as No. 1 player in women’s college basketball for 2020-21 season

(UK Athletics)

Yup, Rhyne Howard is still the GOAT.

After earning nearly every preseason honor or recognition you could think of, the Kentucky Wildcats junior guard has been tabbed as the nation’s top women’s college basketball player for the 2020-21 season by ESPN. Howard is the country’s leading scorer following a 23.4 points per game season a year ago.

Here’s what ESPN’s Graham Hays had to say about Howard:

We’ve grown accustomed to it because of Kelsey Mitchell, Kelsey Plum and Megan Gustafson, but it isn’t all that common for the nation’s leading scorer to play in a Power 5 conference. The nation’s leading returning scorer isn’t likely to score any less this season, even as the Wildcats adjust to a new coach and some new supporting characters. She’s a 6-foot-2 guard who was among the best in the SEC a season ago at both getting to the free throw line and hitting 3-pointers, a good indication of the impossible choices opponents face when defending her. — Graham Hays

Two familiar faces, Dana Evans from Louisville and Aliyah Boston from South Carolina, also cracked the top-10, coming in at No. 4 and 5, respectively. In total, eight players out of the SEC were among the top-25.

As a sophomore last season, Howard averaged 23.4 points and became the first player in school history to score 25 or more points in five straight games. She also led UK with 6.5 rebounds per game and 62 steals, while finishing second on the team with 29 blocks and third on the team with 68 assists.

The list of honors just keeps on growing for the superstar from Cleveland, TN.

  • Preseason SEC Player of the Year (Coaches and media)
  • 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List
  • 2021 WBCA Wade Trophy Watch List
  • 2021 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List
  • Unanimous First-Team Preseason All-American by the Associated Press
  • Preseason All-American by Lindy’s Sports

The No. 11 Wildcats will open up its season on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Murray State inside Memorial Coliseum.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR