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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

Reed Sheppard Named USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS – For the third time in program history, the nation’s best freshman is a Kentucky Wildcat. UK guard Reed Sheppard was tabbed the United States Basketball Writers Association Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year on Monday.


Sheppard joins John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012) as UK’s winners, all coming under John Calipari. Calipari also coached a fourth winner, Tyreke Evans at Memphis in 2009. Sheppard is the first Kentucky-born player to claim the honor which has been given to the country’s top-performing freshman since 1989.

Reed Sheppard of Kentucky (Photo by Jamie H. Vaught0

The London, Kentucky, native has also been named the nation’s best freshman by The Field of 68 and both ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Dick Vitale. College Hoops Today tabbed Sheppard as the National Sixth Man of the Year.


Sheppard is averaging 12.8 points per game and has topped double-figure scoring in 21 games. 


The 6-foot-3 guard also leads the team with 145 assists on the year. His 4.5 per game average ranks third in the league. The 145 assists rank as the eighth-most in single-season history by a UK freshman and he is the 31st player in program history to have 145 or more assists in a season.  


Meanwhile, Sheppard has been a nemesis defensively racking up 80 steals on the season. Since steals became an official stat in 1979, the 80 steals are the second-most by a UK player in program history trailing only Rajon Rondo (87).


He became the first player in UK history to register five steals in three-consecutive games, collecting five thefts against Ole Miss (Feb. 13), Auburn (Feb. 17) and LSU (Feb. 21). Rondo's 2.559 per game average is UK's single-season leader. No other player averaged at least 2.5 per game in program history. Sheppard is averaging 2.50 leading into the NCAA Tournament.


Sheppard is the only player in the country who has amassed at least 80 steals, dished out at least 145 assists and made at least 70 3-pointers through March 17.  


Per, his 3-point percentage of 52.5% leads the country, his true-shooting percentage (70.6%) is sixth and his effective field-goal percentage (68.6%) ranks seventh. 


Sheppard had the game of his life in UK's come-from-behind win at Mississippi State on Feb. 27. The London, Kentucky, native poured in a career-high 32 points and added five boards, seven assists, two blocks and two steals. Twenty-three of his points came after halftime. Eleven of them came in the final 93 seconds. 


It was the only game of 30-or-more points, seven-plus assists, five-plus rebounds, two-plus blocks and two-plus steals in the NCAA this season and one of only 11 such games going back to 1996-97. It is only the second by an SEC player in that time frame. 


He then nearly topped himself with a 27-point, six-rebound, five-assist performance in the upset of No. 4 Tennessee. Sheppard also sunk a career-high seven 3s in that win. Sheppard is the first Kentucky player in school history to have three games with at least 25 points, at least five boards and at least five assists in a single season. 


 Reed Sheppard Honors:  

·         USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year

·         SEC Freshman of the Year (coaches) 

·         All-SEC Second Team (coaches) 

·         All-SEC Second Team (AP) 

·         All-SEC Freshman Team (coaches) 

·         Dick Vitale’s “Diaper Dandy” of the Year

·         Field of 68 Third-Team All-America  

·         College Hoops Today (Rothstein) National Sixth Man of the Year 

·         ESPN National Freshman of the Year (Borzello) 

·         SEC Freshman of the Week (March 11) 

·         SEC Freshman of the Week (March 4) 

·         SEC Freshman of the Week (Dec. 26) 

·         SEC Freshman of the Week (Dec. 4) 


Kentucky opens play at the NCAA Tournament on Thursday against Oakland. Game time is set for 7:10 p.m. ET from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The game will air on CBS.


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