Kentucky's Murray Named SEC Freshman Of Week For Fourth Time
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – February will forever be a month to remember for freshman Jamal Murray. The sharpshooter averaged 26.4 points per game in eight games during the month and capped it with a 33-point performance at Vanderbilt en route to claiming Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors on Monday, Feb. 29. It is the fourth such honor of the season for the Kitchener, Ontario native.
Head coach John Calipari has enjoyed a number of prolific players and scorers in his coaching tenure – although, Murray is putting up numbers unlike any other player under Calipari in a long, long time.
Murray enjoyed another spectacular week for the Wildcats who are in the midst of one of the more difficult stretches of the season. He averaged a team-high 28 points per game and added 6.5 rebounds per game in a 1-1 week for the Wildcats.
Murray opened the week with 23 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks in a dominating victory over Alabama. He followed that with his third 30-point outing of the season with 33 points at Vanderbilt on 12-of-20 shooting and six made 3-pointers. Murray was electrifying from the start with a Calipari era-best 21 points in the opening stanza. He also added a career-high and team-high nine rebounds. With six made 3-pointers, Murray broke the single-season freshman record for made 3-pointers and that’s not all:
• It was his third 30-point game of the season, two points shy of his career high
• It was his 14th game this season with at least 20 points, his eighth game in a row. It’s the longest streak since Jodie Meeks had nine consecutive 20-point games in 2008-09
• His 14th 20-point game tied the UK freshman record now shared with Brandon Knight, who had 14 20-point games in 2010-11
• Has 91 3-point field goals this season, breaking the UK freshman record of 87 3-pointers by Knight in 2010-11
• He averaged 26.4 points per game in February, the highest scoring month for a Wildcat since Meeks averaged 28 points per game in January 2009
• Has 27 consecutive double-figure scoring game, the most since Knight had a 28-game double-figure stretch in 2010-11
• He has made at least one 3-point shot in every game this season, the first player in program history to make a triple in each of his first 29 collegiate games
• It’s also a school record for most consecutive games with a 3 to begin a season, regardless of year in school
• It is the second-longest streak in school history, trailing only Tony Delk, who had 32 straight games with a triple
Kentucky leads the league with nine total weekly honors this season. In addition to Murray’s four, sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis has garnered three honors, while freshmen Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe have both been tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week once this season.
The Wildcats return to the court on Tuesday at Florida. UK takes on the Gators in the final road game of the year at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught