Before the Cats take on Idaho State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, junior guard Rhyne Howard was recognized today as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. This is the second straight season Howard has earned the honor, as her excellent performance last year also granted her that recognition.
“Rhyne Howard is the best player in the nation and as we have talked about all year, it is her versatility and what she is able to do offensively and defensively that gives her that title,” UK head coach Kyra Elzy said. “I think what makes Rhyne special is she can play the one through the five on both ends of the floor. She can score at all three levels and defend at all three levels. There are not many players in the nation that can say that. She also makes the people around her better, upping her averages this year in rebounding, assists and steals. That is what puts her game on different level. I am so proud of how hard she has worked this year. She has matured into a vocal leader for this team and because of that her teammates want to do well for her, as well.”
Howard is the only player averaging over 20 points per game with at least 7.3 rebounds per outing, 50 steals and 70 assists. In 11 matchups against ranked opponents, Howard averaged 22.3 points, hitting 47.1% of her shots from the field along with 6.7 rebounds.
This may not be the only award Howard is allotted, as she is also a finalists for the 2021 Cheryl Miller Award and one of eleven semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s National Player of the Year award.