Kentucky Senior Maci Morris Named to Ann Meyers Drysdale Top 10 Watch List
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ranking as the program’s all-time leader in 3-point field-goal percentage and currently sitting top-10 nationally and first in the Southeastern Conference in that category, Kentucky senior guard Maci Morris (pictured) has been tabbed one of 10 players to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Top 10 Watch List.
Named after the first player, male or female, named to the All-America team in four straight college seasons, the annual award in its second year and recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Last season, Victoria Vivians of Mississippi State was named the inaugural winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
A national committee comprising of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Meyers Drysdale and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award will be revealed in partnership with the WBCA at the Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida. Additional awards being presented and recognized at the WBCA Convention include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award. Also being awarded is the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award which is presented annually by the WBCA’s community of coaches to the best player in college women’s basketball.
Earlier this week, Morris also was tabbed one of 30 women’s basketball players nationally to the Citizen Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 Watch List, making her a strong candidate for national player of the year.
Morris is having a great senior season averaging 16.2 points per game while hitting a team-best 62 3-pointers. The guard has scored in double figures in 20 games, including eight games of 20 or more. Morris' best game came at Tennessee where she played 31 minutes before fouling out and scored 27 points with four 3s, three rebounds and three steals. The guard scored 25 first-half points against Morehead State which is the most in the first half by any UK player since at least 1982-83 (prior halftime statistics are incomplete before that).
Morris ranks high in the league in several categories this season, including sixth in the league in field-goal attempts, seventh in field-goals made, seventh in points and ninth in points per game. The guard has shown she is one of the best shooters in the nation, sitting ninth national and first in the SEC in 3-point field-goal percentage at 45.1 percent. She also ranks second in the league in 3s made per game.
In her four-year career, she has 1,597 career points to rank eighth all-time, while her 239 career 3-pointers made ranks second all-time. Morris has a career 3-point field-goal percentage of 40.9 percent which is first in program history and her career free-throw percentage of 85.7 percent is second in program history.
2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Candidates
Aari McDonald – Arizona
Darby Maggard – Belmont
Cierra Dillard – Buffalo
Katie Lou Samuelson – Connecticut
Candice White – Fresno St.
Maci Morris – Kentucky
Asia Durr – Louisville
Arike Ogunbowale – Notre Dame
Teniya Page – Penn St.
Kiana Williams – Stanford
HOWARD RECEIVES ANOTHER SEC HONOR
For a league record tying sixth time, UK freshman guard Rhyne Howard has been tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Week after impressive performances last week in Kentucky’s two road wins at Auburn and Alabama.
Howard becomes only the second player in league history to earn freshman of the week six times during a season, tying Missouri guard Sophie Cunningham for the prestigious honor. Howard is only the second Kentucky men’s or women’s basketball player to earn six freshman of the week honors, joining Brandon Knight who claimed six honors during the 2010-11 season.
The native of Cleveland, Tenn., began her dominance of the award this season by winning the title on Nov. 13 after scoring 15 points in her collegiate debut and 29 a few days later against Southern. She also claimed the award on Nov. 27, Dec. 11, Dec. 23 and Jan. 8.
Howard earned the honor this week after impressive performances in UK’s road wins over Auburn and Alabama. The rookie started the week with 19 points against Auburn hitting five 3s with six assists, four rebounds and three steals. She ended the week with a game-high 23 points last night at Alabama, going 4-of-6 from long range with three rebounds, three steals and an assist.
Howard is the first UK freshman in the Matthew Mitchell era to score at least 10 points in each of her first 10 games and currently ranks first on the team in points per game with 16.8 and leads in rebounds per game with 6.6. She sits second in 3-pointers made with 60 and ranks second in steals with 53. Howard has scored in double figures in 20 games and has four double-doubles. She has scored 20 or more points in eight games.
Howard ranks high in the league in several categories, including fifth in field-goals made, 11th in field-goal percentage, fifth in points, seventh in points per game, fifth in steals, fourth in 3s, fifth in 3s per game and sixth in 3-point percentage. She is also all over nearly every UK freshman single-season record, sitting fourth in points, second in points per game, fourth in rebounds per game, first in 3s, second in 3PFG%, sixth in steals, fifth in double-figure scoring games and fifth in double-figure rebounding games.
UK Athletics Photo by Britney Howard