UK's Knox wins National Player of the Week award

Kentucky's Kevin Knox (5) shoots an uncontested three pointer during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

ST. LOUIS (WKRC) - The awards just keep rolling in for Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox.

The U.S. Basketball Writers of America has named him both the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. That’s after he won Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday and Citizen Naismith National Player of the Week honors earlier Tuesday.

Knox is the second freshman this season to earn both USBWA honors in the same week, joining Oklahoma’s Trae Young, who did it in December.

Knox is the first UK freshman to earn Tisdale Freshman of the Week honors since Tyler Ulis and Karl-Anthony Towns claimed the honor during the historic 2014-15 season. Malik Monk was tabbed the Oscar Robertson National Player of Week following his 47-point performance against North Carolina last season.

The honor is the first for the SEC this season for either the Tisdale or Robertson awards.

Knox averaged 26.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in wins over Mississippi State and at No. 7/7 West Virginia last week. He had 19 points, six boards and a pair of steals against the Bulldogs. In the epic come-from-behind win over West Virginia, Knox poured in 34 points and added seven rebounds.

The scoring output was the most since De’Aaron Fox had 39 in a win over UCLA in the Sweet 16 in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The 34 points tied Malik Monk’s freshman school scoring record on the road (Monk scored 34 at Ole Miss to open SEC play a season ago). They’re also the most by a UK freshman in a non-conference true road game.

Efficiency was Knox’s most impressive quality for the week. He shot the ball behind a 69.5-percent field-goal rate, including a sizzling 75 percent from behind the arc. The Tampa, Florida, native also boasted an 85.7-percent rate from the charity stripe.

Knox displayed versatility offensively getting to the rim at will and sinking shots from 3-point range. He drilled four 3-pointers against Mississippi State before knocking down a career-high five from long range against the Mountaineers.

The 6-foot-9 freshman has emerged as Kentucky’s leading playmaker, leading the team in scoring (15.5 points per game), 3-pointers (34) and minutes per game (32.5 per game). He’s led the Wildcats in scoring a team-high seven times and has scored in double figures in a team-best 16 games, including six performances of 20 or more points. A 6-foot-9 forward with an ability to play like a guard, Knox is shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from 3-point range.

Information provided by UK Athletics.

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