Ulis Named USBWA District IV Player of the Year
ST. LOUIS – The awards keep rolling in for Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray.
The latest honors come from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, which named Ulis its District IV Player of the Year on Tuesday. Murray joined Ulis on the 10-man All-District IV Team, which includes the top players from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
The USBWA All-District Teams are based on voting from its national membership of 900-plus. The USBWA has selected All-District Teams since the 1956-57 season.
Ulis and Murray are racking in the postseason awards after spectacular individual seasons that helped guide Kentucky to a 23-8 record overall and a share of the program’s 47th Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
Among the highlights, Ulis has already been named SEC Player of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and tabbed to the USA Today All-America First Team. Murray, meanwhile, was named to the USA Today All-America Second Team and joined Ulis on the All-SEC First Team. Murray was also picked for the SEC All-Freshman Team.
The awards and honors Ulis and Murray have already collected:
Tyler Ulis - SEC Player of the Year (Coaches), SEC Defensive Player of the Year, (Coaches) All-SEC First Team (Coaches), SEC All-Defensive Team (Coaches), USA Today All-America First Team, CBS Sports SEC Player of the Year, USBWA District IV Player of the Year, USBWA All-District IV Team, Bob Cousy finalist, John R. Wooden Award finalist, Oscar Robertson finalist
Jamal Murray - All-SEC First Team (Coaches), SEC All-Freshman Team (Coaches), USA Today All-America Second Team, USBWA All-District IV Team, Wayman Tisdale finalist
Ulis has rewritten the UK record books during his sophomore campaign while generating an abundance of accolades following one of the most impressive seasons in Kentucky history. The 5-foot-9 guard played a league-high 36.8 minutes per game and averaged 16.6 points, 7.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals for the SEC co-champions. Within league play, Ulis logged 18.3 points, 8.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per outing.
The sophomore floor general ranks first in minutes per game (36.8), assists (7.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.8), second in free-throw percentage (.850), sixth in scoring (16.6) and seventh in steals per game (1.4). His eight double-doubles on the year are good for sixth in the league.
Already third on the school’s single-season assists list with 221 dimes, he’s on pace to break John Wall’s single season record of 241 assists set in 2009-10. He is the only player with 24 consecutive games with four or more assists since at least 1972-73.
Murray has been one of the nation’s best scorers all season long and led the league with five SEC Weekly award honors. He currently leads the Wildcats in scoring at 20.0 points per game, which, if the season ended today, would be the highest scoring average at Kentucky in the Calipari era. Brandon Knight, in 2010-11, finished at 17.3 points per game. Murray’s current average is the most for any player under Calipari since Dajuan Wagner averaged 21.2 points during the 2001-02 season at Memphis.
The Kitchener, Ontario, native averaged an SEC-high 22.4 points per game against league foes. He also hit an average of 3.72 3-pointers in SEC games. For the season, Murray ranks first in 3-point field-goals made per game (3.2), third in scoring (20.0), third in minutes per game (34.9), fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage (.421) and ninth in field-goal percentage (.451).
With 619 points this season, he trails only Knight (657 points in 2010-11) for the most points by a freshman in school history. He’s posted three 30-point games this season two of which came against league competition. The three 30-point games are the most by a freshman in school history, and his 35 points vs. Florida tied Terrence Jones (Jan. 11, 2011 vs. Auburn) for the school record single-game scoring mark by a freshman. It also tied Jones for the most points in a single game in the Calipari era.
Having hit a 3-pointer in every game this season, Murray owns the UK freshman record for most 3-point field goals in a single season with 99, surpassing Knight’s previous record of 87. His 99 made 3-pointers are already third on the single-season 3-point field goal list, and he has a shot at breaking Stephen Curry’s NCAA freshman record for 3-point field goals in a season (122).
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