LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior guard Makayla Epps (pictured) has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, which annually honors college basketball’s most outstanding men’s and women’s players, after a strong start to her senior season with a team-best 17.0 points per game.
Epps, who has scored 1,479 career points to rank 12th on UK’s all-time scoring list, has been key for the Wildcats this season. The native of Lebanon, Ky., is averaging a team-best 17.0 points per game and leads the team with 62 assists and is second on the team with 19 steals. The senior, who was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after her 30-point performance against highly ranked Oklahoma earlier this season, has scored in double figures in every game but two, including six games with 20-plus points. The senior guard ranks high in several national categories, including 35th nationally and third in the SEC in field-goals made with 106, top 10 in the league in field-goal percentage and fourth in the league in total points with 272.
Epps earned lofty praise this preseason after averaging 17.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season. On top of this selection, Epps has been named to several national player of the year watch lists, including the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, Naismith Trophy Top 50 and Wade Trophy Watch List. Epps was named to College Sports Madness’ and The Sporting News’ Preseason All-America First Team, Athlon Sports Preseason All-America Second Team and was named Preseason All-SEC by league media and league coaches. Last season, Epps earned honorable-mention All-America honors by both The Associated Press and WBCA.
The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be submitted to voters on the final ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. Voters are permitted to take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament when casting the ballot. The 10-man Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award® to the men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7, 2017. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male and female player, who have proven to their respective universities that they are making progress toward graduation while maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. A complete list of the midseason top 25 can be found at www.woodenaward.com.
UK Athletics Photo