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UK's Lyles earns Southeastern Conference Freshman of Week honors for second time

UK forward Trey Lyles earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season (Jamie Vaught Photo)

UK forward Trey Lyles earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season (Jamie Vaught Photo)

Trey Lyles was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday after a breakout week in which he led top-ranked Kentucky to a pair of wins, including a Southeastern Conference championship-clinching win over No. 18/16 Arkansas.

Lyles picked up the honor for the second time this season. Lyles and the Wildcats have now hauled in 11 SEC Freshman of the Week accolades in the last 16 weeks.

Devin Booker has won the award a league-high five times – including four straight from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2 – Karl-Anthony Towns has earned the honor three times, and teammate Tyler Ulis has garnered the award once this season.

Lyles had arguably his finest week as a Wildcat in leading UK to a pair of wins, including a victory over No. 18/16 Arkansas to clinch the outright SEC championship.

The freshman forward opened the week by scoring a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. It marked just the second double-figure scoring effort of the season in league competition. It was also the most points he had scored since totaling 12 in the second game of the season.

Lyles also hauled in six rebounds and had a pair of assists. The Indianapolis native followed that performance with another 18-point performance in the win over the Razorbacks. He was UK’s leading scorer in both contests.

It was the first time Lyles strung together consecutive games in double figures since the opening two games of the season. Lyles was 8 of 10 from the floor against the Razorbacks, including the game’s opening points.

For the week, Lyles was UK’s leading scorer and shot an impressive 68.2 percent from the field. He was perfect on all six free-throw attempts while registering 10 rebounds, three assists, and a block and a steal.

The Wildcats return to action Tuesday when they travel to Georgia for 9 p.m. tip at Stegeman Coliseum. The game will air on ESPN.

Booker, Towns finalists for Tisdale Award

Continuing a recent trend of prolific freshmen at Kentucky, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns have been selected as finalists for the 2015 Wayman Tisdale Award, presented annually by the United States Writers Basketball Association to the top freshman in college basketball.

Booker and Towns are two of 10 finalists for the award, which will be presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Booker leads the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game, including a team-high 12.0 points per game in Southeastern Conference contests. Booker has drained a team-leading 48 3-pointers on the season and knocked down at least two in 13 times. The 6-foot-6 guard ranks as the most effective shooter in the SEC this season, according to ShotAnalytics.com.

Towns is logging 9.3 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. He leads the team with six double-doubles on the year, including charting four over the last seven games for UK. The Piscataway, N.J., native, who also appears on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 list, is connecting on 56.0 percent of his attempts from the floor and 78.8 percent from the foul line.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career.

In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

Former Wildcats John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012) are previous winners of the award.

From UK Athletics

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