LEXINGTON, Ky. – New season, same story for University of Kentucky senior guard Makayla Epps, who has added another honor to her already lengthy list of awards, after being named to the Athlon Sports 2016-17 Preseason All-America Second Team, it was announced recently.
Epps, who is one of three Southeastern Conference players on either the first or second team, is coming off a great junior season where she was named All-America First Team by CollegeSportsMadness.com and All-America Honorable Mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and The Associated Press. The native of Lebanon, Ky., was also named a first-team All-SEC performer by league coaches and the AP, while she was on the Dawn Staley Award Mid-Season Watch List, Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 and Wade Trophy Watch List last season.
Last season, Epps played in 32 games, averaging a team-best 17.1 points per game, hitting .473 from the field with 4.5 assists per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. Epps scored 20+ points 12 times during the year, while scoring in double digits 29 times. Early in the season, Epps posted the second triple-double in program history with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Morehead State. During SEC play, Epps became the 31st member of Kentucky’s 1,000-point club and ended her junior year with 1,207 career points, which ranks her 19th all-time on Kentucky’s scoring list.
The star shone the most on the biggest of stages this season. During the regular season against highly-ranked Louisville, Duke, South Carolina (twice), Tennessee, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, Epps averaged 18.4 points per game, hitting .486 from the field with 29 assists and 33 rebounds. Those performances continued in the SEC Tournament as Epps led the team averaging 18.3 points per game with 5.3 rebounds per game, 12 assists and an impressive .553 clip from the field.
She paced the team in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 22.3 points per game to go with 4.3 assists per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. The junior increased her output not only in points per game, but efficiency from 3 as well as it increased to .438 in the tournament compared to shooting at a .250 prior to the event. Additionally, Epps ended her junior campaign with 546 points and 143 assists, becoming the only player in school history to have at least 500 points and 100 assists in two consecutive seasons.
Kentucky will begin the 2016-17 season on Nov. 11 against Miami (Fla.) at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.