The national recognition doesn’t stop for Kentucky women’s basketball star Rhyne Howard. The sophomore has been named to the Naismith Trophy Watch list, making her one of the top-50 players in the nation. It’s her second national honor in two days; Howard was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Watch List Tuesday. Earlier this season, she was also tabbed to the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List for the nation’s best small forward.
The list will be cut from 50 to 30 in early February. The field will be narrowed again on March 3, 2020. Four finalists will be named on March 20, and the winner of the Naismith Trophy will finally be announced on April 4.
The preseason hype is not exaggerated. Last season, Howard led the team in scoring and rebounding as a rookie, averaging 16.4 points and 6.6 boards per game. She’s also off to a hot start this season. In Kentucky’s game Tuesday night, Howard scored a game-high 14 points, while also adding 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks against Mount St. Mary’s. It was her sixth career double-double, and she finished as the team’s leading scorer for the 17th time and the team’s leading rebounder for the 20th time in her still-young career.
For more on the Kentucky vs. Mount St. Mary’s game, check out KSR’s Zack Geoghegan’s write-up here.
Howard and the rest of the Wildcats will return to action this Sunday at Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m. They’ll be back in Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 13 vs. Stetson at 7 p.m.