Mark Story

Preseason All-State teams for Kentucky college basketball in 2019-20

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Preseason All-State teams for Kentucky college men’s and women’s basketball in 2019-20:


F Jordan Nwora, 6-7, Jr., Louisville. After leading U of L in scoring (17 points) and rebounding (7.6) a season ago, the Buffalo, N.Y., product was chosen the 2019-20 ACC Preseason Player of the Year.

Louisville’s Jordan Nwora, a 6-7 junior from Buffalo, N.Y., was tabbed as ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Timothy D. Easley AP

F EJ Montgomery, 6-10, So., Kentucky. John Calipari has challenged the skilled big man from Fort Pierce, Fla., to make a PJ Washington-level jump in his second season in UK blue and white.

C Charles Bassey, 6-11, So., Western Kentucky. After averaging a double-double (14.6 points, 10 rebounds plus 2.6 blocked shots) last season, the Lagos, Nigeria, product surprised many by taking his name out of the NBA Draft to return for a second year with Rick Stansbury’s Hilltoppers.

G Tyrese Maxey, 6-3, Fr., Kentucky. The Garland, Texas, product was the No. 10-rated prospect in the 24/7 Composite Rankings for the class of 2019 and is expected to immediately become a dynamic presence in the UK backcourt.

G Ashton Hagans, 6-3, Soph., Kentucky. The Cartersville, Ga., product turned in a solid freshman season running the point for UK (7.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals) and should take a leap forward in year two.

Newcomer of the Year: Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky

Player of the Year: Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky

Coach of the Year: Chris Mack, Louisville

Former Lafayette High School standout Dee Givens emerged as a star last year in her junior season at Western Kentucky University. Austin Anthony AP


F Dee Givens, 6-1, Sr., Western Kentucky. In a stellar junior season (17.6 points, 5.3 rebounds) in 2018-19, the former Lafayette High School star became the first player in WKU history to shoot over 45 percent from the field (45.1), 40 percent on three-point attempts (40.1) and 85 percent (85.1) from the foul line in the same year.

F Elizabeth Balogun, 6-1, So., Louisville. The immediately-eligible transfer from Georgia Tech was 2018-19 ACC Freshman of the Year after averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.

C Elizabeth Dixon, 6-5, So., Louisville. Another Georgia Tech emigre, the Memphis product was named to the 2018-19 ACC All-Freshman Team after averaging 11 points and 6.4 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent on field-goal tries.

G Rhyne Howard, 6-2, So., Kentucky. The Cleveland, Tenn., product swept every major National Freshman of the Year Award in 2018-19 after an epic first season (16.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.1 steals) at UK.

G Dana Evans, 5-6, Jr., Louisville. The electric point guard averaged 10.4 points and led U of L in assists with 4.0 a game while coming off the bench last season. With the graduation of Cardinals star Asia Durr, Evans should have the spotlight this season.

Rhyne Howard shooting
Kentucky star Rhyne Howard swept every major National Freshman of the Year Award for her play last season. Matt Goins

Newcomer of the Year: Elizabeth Balogun, Louisville

Player of the Year: Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Coach of the Year: Jeff Walz, Louisville

Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.