BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman Anthony Davis was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year to lead a bevy of honors for the Wildcats as voted on by the league’s coaches, it was announced on Tuesday. In addition to Player of the Year honors, Davis was tabbed as the league’s top freshman and best defensive player.
John Calipari was honored as the Coach of the Year, while senior Darius Miller claimed the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Davis owns the school and conference records for most blocks in a season with 146. He notched 14 double-double efforts while averaging a team-high 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Wildcats. He becomes the first UK player to earn SEC Player of the Year honors since John Wall in 2010. He is just the third freshman to earn Player of the Year honors in league history in addition to Wall; Chris Jackson earned the honor in 1989.
Davis also becomes the fourth Wildcat player to earn SEC Freshman of the Year honors and the third consecutive joining current teammate Terrence Jones (2011) and former Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins (2010) and Patrick Patterson (2008). His honor as the top defensive player is the first for UK since Chuck Hayes in 2005.
Calipari led the Wildcats to a perfect 16-0 record in league play to become just one of four teams since 1956 to achieve the feat. The Wildcats’ held opponents to a .365 field goal percentage which ranked as the best in the nation and also set a new single-season record for blocks with 278 rejections. The honor from league coaches is the first for Calipari since becoming Kentucky’s coach prior to the 2009-10 season.
Miller captured SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors after becoming the 58th member of Kentucky’s 1,000-point club and averaging 10.0 points and 2.1 assists per outing in his final campaign. He is the first Wildcat player to earn the honor in school history.
Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist joined Davis on the All-SEC first team, freshman team and defensive team. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while also being matched up on the opponent’s top offensive threat.
Sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb were All-SEC second team selections to cap off the awards for the Wildcats. Jones averages 12.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore. Lamb averages 13.3 points with a team-high .840 free-throw percentage.
In all, five players and Calipari were honored by the league as voted on by the 12 coaches. It marks a school-record for the most honors in a single-season in UK allure.
Kentucky will return to action in the SEC Tournament on Friday, March 9 at Noon CT. UK will face the winner of the Arkansas/LSU game.