LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior guard Maci Morris and freshman guard Rhyne Howard have been named Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Region honorees and are now considered finalists for the 2019 WBCA Division I Coaches All-America team.
The selection committee uses an equation to determine an equitable number of honorees from each region. The number of NCAA Division I institutions in each region is divided by the number of NCAA Division I institutions overall to determine a percentage for each region. This percentage is then multiplied by 52 (the total number of desired finalists) to get the number of finalists for each region.
The 2019 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America team will be announced Thursday, April 4, during the WBCA Convention at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida. Visit wbca.org to see a list of past WBCA Coaches’ All-America teams.
Howard has a lengthy list of honors this season as the espnW National Player of the Year, Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by league coaches and SEC Newcomer of the Year of the Associated Press. She was also named first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team by league coaches while the AP named her second-team All-SEC.
All the postseason awards are on top of Howard being named SEC Freshman of the Week eight times this season, setting the program and league record for most rookie of the week awards. The SEC honors came on Nov. 13, 27, Dec. 11, 23, Jan. 8, Feb. 12, 19 and 26. She was named National Freshman of the Week on Dec. 26 by USBWA, the first player in program history to accomplish that feat.
Howard is the first UK freshman in the Matthew Mitchell era to score at least 10 points in each of her first 10 games. She ranks first on the team in points per game with 16.3 and leads the squad in rebounds with 6.7. Howard is second on the team in steals with 64, third in assists with 70 and tied for first in 3-pointers made with 68. She has scored in double figures in 24 games with 20 or more points in nine games and five double-doubles.
The native of Cleveland, Tenn., ranks high in the league in several categories sitting eighth in field goals made, 11th in field-goal percentage, seventh in points, seventh in points per game, fifth in steals, sixth in 3-pointers made, fifth in 3s made per game and fifth in 3-point percentage. Howard is the only freshman in the country with 480+ points, 60+ 3s, 70+ assists and 70+ steals while she ranks third among freshmen nationally in points and points per game.
During conference play, Howard had a four-game stretch of scoring 17+ points with 19 points and five 3s against Auburn before 23 points and four 3s vs. Alabama. She had 18 points and 14 rebounds against Arkansas, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.3 second left and then getting a steal to clinch the win. In Kentucky’s win at top-15 ranked South Carolina, Howard had 17 points with four rebounds and three steals. Last week in the SEC Tournament, Howard scored 21 points after halftime to charge a UK comeback against Missouri finishing the game with 11 made field goals and 25 points.
Howard is all over nearly every UK freshman single-season record, sitting third in points, second in points per game, fourth in rebounds per game, first in 3-pointers made, third in 3-point field goal percentage, third in steals, third in double-figure scoring games and fifth in double-figure rebounding games.
Morris has received several awards already this season and is currently one of five national finalists for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award for top shooting guard in the nation. Earlier this month, the guard was named an All-SEC Frist-Team performer by league coaches and All-SEC Second-Team honoree by the Associated Press. League coaches also tabbed Morris the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and she was one of 14 players tabbed to the SEC Community Service Team earlier this season.
Morris has been fantastic for the Wildcats this season averaging 14.9 points per game with 68 3s and a team-best 44.2 percent from long range. The guard has scored in double figures in 24 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. Those numbers rank high nationally as Morris sits first in the SEC and eighth nationally in 3-point field-goal percentage while her 2.3 3s per game ranks fifth in the league.
The native of Bell County, Ky., has left her mark on the UK program as one of the best to ever play for the Wildcats. Morris ranks sixth all-time in scoring with 1,655 points while her 245 career 3s made ranks second. The guard has connected on 40.9 percent of her 3-point attempts during her career, which ranks first in program history. In all, Morris has hit at least one 3 in 105 of 127 career games.