LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior guard Makayla Epps has earned another preseason honor as Southeastern Conference head coaches have voted her to their All-SEC Preseason First Team for the second consecutive season, it was announced Thursday.
Epps is one of eight players to make the first team. Last month, Epps was named to the Preseason Media All-SEC Team, which consisted on five players.
The preseason honor adds to Epps’ already lengthy list of recognition as she has been named to College Sports Madness’ and The Sporting News’ Preseason All-America First Team and Athlon Sports Preseason All-America Second Team. The guard was also recently named to the Nancy Lieberman Preseason Watch List, which annually seeks to honor the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Last season, Epps was tabbed honorable-mention All-America by both The Associated Press and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The native of Lebanon, Ky., had an amazing junior season for Kentucky, playing in 32 games and averaging 17.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game with 143 assists and 41 steals. The powerful guard scored 20-plus points 12 times during the season, while scoring in double digits in 29 of her 32 games played. Early in the season, Epps posted the second triple-double in program history with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Morehead State. In conference play, Epps averaged 16.1 points per game and became the 31st member of Kentucky’s 1,000-point club, ending her junior season with 1,207 career points. She enters her senior season 19th all-time on Kentucky’s career scoring list.
Epps was a clutch performer against some of the best teams in the country last season. Against highly ranked Louisville, Duke, South Carolina (twice), Tennessee, Mississippi State and Texas A&M she averaged 18.4 points per game, hitting .486 from the field with 29 assists and 33 rebounds. In the SEC Tournament, Epps averaged 18.3 points per game, adding 12 assists and an impressive .553 shooting clip from the field.
Epps is joined on the Preseason All-SEC First Team by Arkansas’ Jessica Jackson, Florida’s Ronni Williams, Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians, Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham, South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson – also named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year – and Alaina Coates, and Tennessee’s Diamond DeShieds. The Wildcats were picked to finish fifth in the league.
Kentucky, which is hosting its lone exhibition game of the season tonight, will officially begin the 2016-17 season on Nov. 11 against Miami (Fla.) at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.