Wildcats Receive Mid-Season Accolades

Jan. 13, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With pre-conference schedules wrapped up, the Wildcats have earned various national mid-season accolades from basketball experts across the country.

ESPN's Dick Vitale named UK head coach John Calipari his mid-season Coach of the Year and called John Wall his Player of the Year.

Calipari has led the Wildcats to a 17-0 (2-0 in SEC) record to open the season, Kentucky's best start since the 1966 team started off 23-0. Wall leads the Cats in scoring at 17.3 points and ranks second nationally in assists at 7.1 per game.

ESPN's Jay Bilas named Wall a mid-season All-America first teamer.

"The fastest player in the country with the ball in his hands, Wall is more explosive and more efficient than Derrick Rose was in his rookie season, and so far, he has been every bit the same winner," said Bilas.

He also named Calipari as his mid-season Coach of the Year.

"The job that Calipari has done in Lexington is nothing short of remarkable," said Bilas. "To have the Wildcats, a team so young it should be referred to as Kittens, still unbeaten is an amazing job."

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy also selected Wall as his mid-season Player of the Year.

"Kentucky PG John Wall has dominated the season," said DeCourcy. "Don't expect that to change."

DeCourcy also called Eric Bledsoe the nation's most surprising player.

"Eric Bledsoe was Scout.com's No. 37 player in the 2009 recruiting class -- and he's a better freshman than about 30 guys ranked ahead of him."

Kentucky currently ranks second in both the Associated Press and Coaches' Top 25. The Wildcats travel to Auburn on Saturday to take on the Tigers in a 4:00 p.m. ET game televised on the SEC Network.