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Taylor Murray Named a Semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award

(Photo via UK Athletics)

(Photo via UK Athletics)

Another day, another Kentucky player named to a “Player of the Year” award list.

Not long after it was announced that star freshman Rhyne Howard was honored with her SEC-record seventh Freshman of the Week Award, fellow lady Wildcat Taylor Murray has been named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award list.

Murray, who leads Kentucky in total steals at 82 on the season, ranks top 10 nationally in steals with 3.3 thefts per game. Standing at a mere 5-foot-6, Murray is typically one of the shorter players on the court, but always dangerous to poke a ball away. She is one of the most tenacious and lockdown defenders in the entire country, showing little fear when she’s hooked into the ball handler’s jersey.

The senior guard already has more steals through 24 games played this season than she did in 32 games last year. In fact, she surpassed her total from last season in just 19 games through her final year at Kentucky. Murray is also on pace to become just the fourth player in program history to lead the Wildcats in steals all four seasons and six more steals will place her in the top-five all-time among Kentucky players.

Joining Murray on the list is another member of the SEC, Teaira McCowan, who plays for Mississippi State and won the award last season.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR