Photo by Keyli Chisesi (Go Big Blue Country)
The Southeastern Conference announced individual honors Tuesday morning and the Kentucky Wildcats are represented on the list of players.
Freshman forward Kevin Knox has been named Co-SEC Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches on Tuesday. Additionally, Knox was named to the All-SEC first team, as well as being named to the All-SEC freshman team. Knox has started all 31 games for the Wildcats this season and leads the team in points per game (15.7) and total three-pointers made (50).
Knox posted some big nights during the regular season but none bigger than his 34-point outburst in a win at No. 7 West Virginia on January 27th. His 34 point night in Morgantown tied Malik Monk (at Ole Miss) for the most points by a freshman on the road in school history.
The freshman forward has scored in double figures in 25 games this season, including a team-high eight games of posting 20 or more points. Knox is the ninth Wildcat to win SEC Freshman of the Year honors and the eighth during the John Calipari era.
Joining Knox on the list of accolades is freshman point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was named to the All-SEC second team and freshman team. SGA took over the starting point guard duties early in SEC play and never looked back. He is second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game and he leads UK in minutes played, assists, steals, 3-point percentage, and free throw percentage.
SGA ranks third in the SEC in steals per game (1.6) and fourth in assists per game (4.9). In SEC play, he averaged 15.0 points and 5.4 assists with his best game being a 30-point effort vs. Vanderbilt. SGA scored 24 second-half points to lead Kentucky from 14 points down in the second half vs. the Commodores.
His play rises when the Wildcats need him most. He averages 7.5 points in the second half (compared to 5.5 points in the first) and 8.8 points in the second half since taking over the starting point guard duties 16 games ago (compared to 5.7).