Another Freshman of the Week honor for Wall

Kentucky point guard wins award for an unprecedented fourth consecutive week

jtipton@herald-leader.comDecember 15, 2009 

The Southeastern Conference made Kentucky guard John Wall the first player to win the league's Freshman of the Week award four straight weeks on Monday.

To hear Auburn Coach Jeff Lebo, Wall could extend that record deep into the season.

"He's certainly worthy of it," Lebo said, "for as many weeks as he wants it, probably."

Lebo said he had watched Wall play and noted the difficulty of not getting a glimpse of the UK freshman.

"He's on SportsCenter just about every night," the Auburn coach said. "He's a terrific talent and a special guy."

Lebo likened Wall to the standout freshmen who played for John Calipari at Memphis the last two seasons: Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.

With the consecutive weeks record in hand, Wall can shoot for the mark of most SEC Freshman of the Week awards in a season. That record belongs to James Robinson of Alabama, who won the award six times in 1990-91. Chris Jackson of LSU won the award, then called Rookie of the Week, five times in 1988-89.

Wall joined Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon (2005-06) and LSU's Anthony Randolph (2007-08) as four-time winners.

Robinson and Jackson had shared the record of three straight weeks as Freshman (or Rookie) of the Week. Robinson did it twice.

Wall averaged 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and 3.5 steals last week in leading Kentucky to victories over then No. 14 Connecticut and at Indiana.

The UConn game in Madison Square Garden served as a national debut for Wall. He scored 12 of UK's final 15 points, including a three-point play with 30 seconds left to give the Cats a 63-61 lead. He finished with a career-high 25 points and his six steals tied for the third most by a UK freshman.

Wall followed up with 11 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and only one turnover in 39 minutes at Indiana. Turnovers had been a problem for Wall, who committed 14 in the two most recent games prior to UK's 90-73 victory at Indiana.

So far, Wall has been one of the most prolific SEC players, regardless of class. He ranks among the top 10 in scoring (18.1 ppg), shooting accuracy (54 percent), assists (7.1 apg), steals (2.8 spg) and minutes played (35.1 per game).

Cats No. 3 in both polls

Kentucky (10-0), which was No. 1 on one ballot, moved up one spot to third in the Associated Press poll on Monday, after then-No. 3 Villanova's 75-65 loss to Temple on Sunday. The Cats were also No. 3 and received one first-place vote in the coaches' poll. Kansas and Texas held on to the top two spots in both polls.

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