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Rhyne Howard tabbed as finalist for nation’s top small forward honor, the Cheryl Miller Award

Get used to seeing the name Rhyne Howard over the next month or so–she’s about to fill up another trophy case.

After being named the SEC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season on Tuesday and later named one of the finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award, Howard is in contention for another prestigious honor. On Wednesday afternoon, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association released their top five choices for the Cheryl Miller Award, which is handed out to the nation’s top small forward, and Howard was back on the list as one of the five finalists.

Howard was also a finalist for the award last season but ultimately lost to Satou Sabally of Oregon, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. This year, Howard joins Ashley Joens (Iowa State), Haley Jones (Standford), Rennia Davis (Tennessee), and Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA). Howard recently beat out Davis for the SEC Player of the Year honors.

What makes the Cheryl Miller Award unique from the others is that fans have a significant say in who wins. While fan voting for the women’s side has not been made available just yet, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for Howard once it is this Friday, March 5. The winner will be announced by the selection committee on March 26.

During the 2020-21 season, the junior guard is averaging 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 77.8 percent from the free-throw line. Howard and the Wildcats are just a night’s sleep away from taking on the Florida Gators in the quarterfinals of the 2021 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which is set for approximately 1:30 p.m. EST.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

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