Kentucky's Murray Named SEC Freshman of the Week for 2nd Time; Finney-Smith of Florida Wins Conf
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman sharpshooter Jamal Murray (pictured) was named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week after helping lead UK to a pair of double-digit wins at Arkansas and against Vanderbilt last week, it was announced on Monday, Jan. 25.
Also, winning SEC Player of the Week honors was Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith, a 6-8, 220-pound senior forward from Portsmouth, Va., who averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds in wins over Mississippi State and Auburn.
Murray, a 6-4, 204-pound guard from Kitchener, Ontario in Canada, averaged 18.5 points and seven assists in wins at Arkansas and over Vanderbilt. He poured in 19 points and added seven rebounds in the win at Arkansas. He also contributed a block and a steal in the win. Murray followed up that performance less than 48 hours later with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while adding seven more rebounds, three steals and another block in a victory over Vanderbilt. Two of Murray’s four total blocks on the season have come in the last two games. He has also swiped at least one ball in seven consecutive outings with at least three steals in two of his last three games.
Murray continues his hot streak from behind the 3-point arc and has now connected on at least one 3-pointer in all 19 games this season.
Finney-Smith led the Gators with 20 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Mississippi State and followed that up with 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists against Auburn. Finney-Smith posted back-to-back 20-point games for the second time this season and the first against SEC opponents. He scored 44 points on an efficient 23 field goal attempts.
Finney-Smith’s double-double last Tuesday marked his third straight, becoming the first Gator since Chandler Parsons to record three in a row, joining Marreese Speights, Al Horford, David Lee and Udonis Haslem as the sixth Gator to do so over the past 20 years.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught