Maci Morris One of 50 Players Selected on Watch List for National Player of Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard Maci Morris (pictured) has been tabbed one of 50 players to the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List for national player of the year, it was announced Monday, Nov. 12.
The midseason 30 team will be announced on Feb. 11, 2019, and then the competition will be narrowed down to 10 national semifinalists on March 4, 2019. The four finalists will be named on March 22, 2019, and the winner of the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 6, 2019.
This is not the first honor this season for Morris, who was named Preseason All-SEC First Team by league coaches and was tabbed to the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List, which seeks to honor the nation’s top shooting guard.
Morris is off to a great start this season, scoring in double figures in both games. The senior started her season with 11 points behind three 3s against Alabama State before 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including two 3s against Southern University. Morris added three rebounds and a steal against SU.
The strong start has increased Morris’ career numbers and standing in UK’s record book. She now has 1,232 career points, which ranks 19th most in program history, needing 86 more to tie Bria Goss for 18th all-time. The guard has also hit 182 career 3-pointers which ranks third in program history, needing 15 more to tie Jennifer O'Neill for second all-time.
The native of Bell County, Ky., had one of the best seasons in Kentucky women's basketball history last season, averaging 17.3 points per game and ranking second in the nation at 47.5 percent from long range. The high 3-point field-goal percentage was the best in a single season by a UK player in program history.
Morris was the only player in the SEC to score 20 or more points in seven straight games against league opponents last season. The stretch came against some of the best teams in the country as she scored 22 at Missouri, 21 at Mississippi State, 20 vs. Arkansas, 35 at South Carolina, 20 at Ole Miss, 22 vs. Mississippi State and 25 vs. Alabama.
Morris, who recorded 10 or more points in 27 of her 31 games played in 2017-18, including 15 or more points in 23 games and 20 or more points in 12 games, posted a career-high 35 points at No. 8 South Carolina on Feb. 18, 2018, with a career-high 13 made field goals. That performance helped her become just the third player in program history to score 35+ points in an SEC game.
The guard set or tied career highs during the year in points, field-goals made, field-goals attempted, 3-pointers made, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught