BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After dominating the Southeastern Conference weekly awards this season, the Kentucky men’s basketball team fittingly took home one of the last honors of the 2018-19 year with Tyler Herro winning SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday.
Herro was tabbed the best freshman in the league last week for a team-high-tying third time this season after leading UK to victories at Ole Miss and at home vs. Florida, two teams fighting for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. Herro averaged a team-high-tying 18.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
The Milwaukee native, who is one of the leading candidates for the SEC Freshman of the Year award, was both efficient and effective in the two victories. He shot 60.9 percent from the floor, 40.0 percent from 3 and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free-throw line.
In a dangerous game at Ole Miss on Tuesday, Herro scored 20 points for his fifth 20-point game of the season. He was 8 for 12 from the floor, recorded five rebounds, three steals and knocked down two free throws late in the game to help seal the outcome.
Four days later, in the regular-season home finale, Herro scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists.
Herro finished the regular season with a 14.2 scoring average – second best on the team on 46.5-percent shooting and a team-high 53 3-pointers. He led the team with 25 double-figure scoring games, and UK was 17-0 this season when he scored 15 or more points.
Herro averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game on 50.5-percent shooting in UK’s 10 road games this season, scoring 12 or more in all but one. As a matter of fact, Herro was one of only four players nationally this season to average at least 15 points per game on the road while shooting at least 50 percent from the field, at least 35 percent from 3-point range and at least 90 percent from the free-throw line.
The 6-foot-5 guard has been elite at the foul line. He’s shooting 93.9 percent from the charity stripe, which would be a single-season school record (minimum 50 attempts) if the season ended today. He’s made 60 of his last 61 foul shots.
With this week’s honor, Herro tied teammate Keldon Johnson for a league-high three SEC Freshman of the Week honors. UK freshman guard Ashton Hagans also won two SEC Freshman of the Week awards to give Kentucky eight for the season, the most in the league. Sophomore forward PJ Washington also won SEC Player of the Week twice this season for 10 total SEC weekly honors in 2018-19.
Kentucky has won more weekly SEC honors (99) than any other school during the John Calipari era, including 79 SEC Freshman of the Week honors and 20 SEC Player of the Week awards.
The Wildcats hope to take home additional hardware when the conference announces its season-long awards Tuesday.
With a 26-5 regular season in the rearview mirror, UK turns its attention to the annual SEC Tournament. The Wildcats have earned the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of the Alabama-Ole Miss game on Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. That game will be televised by the SEC Network.
Should UK win that game, it would play Saturday at approximately 2:25 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Kentucky is seeking its fifth straight SEC Tournament championship and seventh in 10 seasons under Calipari. UK has made the championship game in eight of Calipari’s nine seasons at UK.