Wildcats Haul in Preseason Watch Honors for Naismith, USBWA
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Already 7-0 to start the season and a No. 1 national ranking, the honors for several Kentucky men’s basketball players continue to roll in during the early stages of the season. Freshmen Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray and sophomore Tyler Ulis all garnered preseason accolades from either the Naismith Trophy or the United States Basketball Writers of America on Wednesday.
Labissiere, Murray and Ulis were all tabbed to both the Naismith and the USBWA Oscar Robertson watch lists for national player of the year, while all three freshmen also earned recognition to the USBWA’s Wayman Tisdale Award watch list for the nation’s top-performing freshman.
Briscoe is a 6-foot-3 guard from Union, N.J., who is averaging 12.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 18 points in a win over Illinois State on Monday following a seven-assist performance in a win over South Florida. He has logged double-digit points in all but one game he has played this season.
Labissiere, a 6-11 freshman from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has averaged 12.9 points and 2.1 blocks per game through UK’s first seven contests. He was named the Southeastern Conference co-Freshman of the Week following a breakout 26-point performance against NJIT. A preseason All-SEC selection by both the media and the league’s coaches, Labissiere has reached double-figure scoring in five games thus far.
Murray is a 6-4 guard from Kitchener, Ontario, who is the team’s leading scorer at 15.0 points per game. He earned Most Valuable Player honors at the Hoophall Miami Invitational in a career-high 21-point performance in the win over USF. Murray has drained at least one 3-pointer in all seven games this season and has scored in double-figures in six of seven outings.
Ulis is UK’s floor general. He has averaged 13.2 points and 4.3 assists per game in six starts. The 5-9 guard from Chicago earned SEC Player of the Week honors following an 18-point, six-assist breakout game against No. 5 Duke in the Champions Classic. Ulis played all 40 minutes in that game and did not commit a single turnover. He suffered a hyperextended elbow against USF and sat out UK’s latest win against Illinois State.
Finalists for the awards will be announced in February with the winners revealed at the Final Four in April.
Isaiah Briscoe – Wayman Tisdale Watch List
Skal Labissiere – Wayman Tisdale Watch List, Naismith Watch List, Oscar Robertson Watch List
Jamal Murray - Wayman Tisdale Watch List, Naismith Watch List, Oscar Robertson Watch List
Tyler Ulis – Naismith Watch List, Oscar Robertson Watch List
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