Congratulations to Rhyne Howard, who was just named a Preseason All-American by the Associated Press. Howard was a unanimous choice by the 30-member panel and is the first Kentucky women’s player to ever receive preseason honors from the AP.
“Rhyne Howard was one of the best players in the nation last season and after seeing how hard she has worked this offseason and preseason, I have no doubt she’ll be in those same conversations this year,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. “What makes Rhyne so special is how she lifts everyone around her up. She is an exceptional person and player and very deserving to be Kentucky’s first AP Preseason All-American. I cannot wait to see what she has in store this season.”
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. Howard hit 84 3-pointers last year, which was the most in program history in a single season.
She was named the 2020 SEC Player of the Year and earned first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team honors last season while she was one of four finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding women’s college basketball player of the year. So far this preseason, Howard has also been named a first-team preseason All-America honoree by Lindy’s Sports and a nominee for the Cheryl Miller Award, given annually to the top small forward in women’s college basketball.
Also on the AP Preseason All-American squad: Aliyah Boston of South Carolina, also a unanimous pick; Dana Evans of Louisville; Aari McDonald of Arizona; and Michaela Onyenwere of UCLA.