UK Men's Basketball

Knox, Gilgeous-Alexander honored by SEC coaches; UK shut out in media voting

Kentucky’s Kevin Knox (5), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22), PJ Washington (25) and Jarred Vanderbilt (2) celebrated an early season exhibition win over Centre. Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander received recognition as All-SEC players by league coaches on Tuesday.
Kentucky’s Kevin Knox (5), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22), PJ Washington (25) and Jarred Vanderbilt (2) celebrated an early season exhibition win over Centre. Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander received recognition as All-SEC players by league coaches on Tuesday. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Kentucky players were shut out of postseason All-Southeastern Conference honors by the media Tuesday, but SEC coaches named Kevin Knox a co-freshmen of the year and first-team selection and made teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander a second-team pick.

This year marks the first season since 2007 that Kentucky did not have anyone recognized in the Associated Press’s all-conference honors. UK had at least one AP first-team All-SEC player in every year since 2009.

Knox shared coaches’ freshman of the year honors with Alabama’s Collin Sexton. Sexton also received recognition as newcomer of the year by the AP.

Both Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander were chosen for the coaches’ all-freshman team. All 14 conference head coaches voted on the eight-man first- and second-team All-SEC squads. Ties were not broken.

Knox is the ninth Wildcat to win SEC freshman of the year by the coaches and the eighth such player in John Calipari’s nine seasons at UK. Calipari has now coached 23 players who have earned All-SEC accolades. At least one Calipari player has been named to the All-SEC freshman team, 24 total, in each of his nine years.

Kentucky freshmen Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander talk about being named to the coaches’ All-SEC team. Knox was named Freshman of the Year.

Knox leads UK in scoring at 15.7 points per game. He’s reached double-figure scoring in 25 games this season and has a team-high nine games of 20 or more points. He is second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game and has made a team-best 50 three-pointers.

Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 13.2 points per game. He leads the team in steals (49), assists (151), free-throw percentage (.808) and minutes per game (32.9).

Georgia forward Yante Maten was the AP’s player of the year.

Maten and Tennessee forward Grant Williams were unanimous first-team picks by the media. Tennessee’s Rick Barnes was named coach of the year.

This marks the first time an AP SEC player of the year has come from a team that ended the regular season below .500 in conference play since 1971, when Mississippi’s Johnny Neumann won the award while the Rebels went 6-12 in league competition.

Barnes got 10 votes as coach of the year from the 15-member media panel after leading Tennessee to a share of the SEC title. The preseason SEC media poll had Tennessee finishing 13th out of 14 teams in the conference.

Four voters selected Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, who led the Tigers to a share of the SEC title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin got one vote.

Jared Peck: 859-231-1333, @JPSaysHere

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Coaches’ All-SEC

FIRST TEAM

Jaylen Barford (Arkansas)

Chris Chiozza (Florida)

Tyler Davis (Texas A&M)

Kevin Knox (Kentucky)

Yante Maten (Georgia)

Kassius Robertson (Missouri)

Chris Silva (South Carolina)

Grant Williams (Tennessee)

SECOND TEAM

Bryce Brown (Auburn)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky)

Jared Harper (Auburn)

Daryl Macon (Arkansas)

Jeff Roberson (Vanderbilt)

Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)

Collin Sexton (Alabama)

Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State)

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky)

Daniel Gafford (Arkansas)

Kevin Knox (Kentucky)

Jontay Porter (Missouri)

Collin Sexton (Alabama)

TJ Stars (Texas A&M)

Tremont Waters (LSU)

Nick Weatherspoon (Mississippi State)

Associated Press All-SEC

Player of the year — Yante Maten, Georgia

Coach of the year — Rick Barnes, Tennessee

Newcomer of the year — Collin Sexton, Alabama

FIRST TEAM

Bryce Brown, Auburn

Daryl Macon, Arkansas

Yante Maten, Georgia

Collin Sexton, Alabama

Grant Williams, Tennessee

SECOND TEAM

Jaylen Barford, Arkansas

Chris Chiozza, Florida

Jared Harper, Auburn

Mustapha Heron, Auburn

Kassius Robertson, Missouri

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