LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week after leading Kentucky with 19.0 points per game in wins over Texas A&M and Vanderbilt last week.
With starting point guard Quade Green injured and missing both games this week, Gilgeous-Alexander stepped into the starting point guard role and played 39 minutes in both victories. Gilgeous-Alexander performed at a high level for the Cats leading them to a one-point win over one of the preseason favorites to win the league in Texas A&M and then followed that up with a gritty road win at Vanderbilt.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the Cats in scoring at 19.0 points per game in the two wins, while also dishing out a team-best 5.5 assists per game. He also contributed 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.5 steals per game running the show. He shot 61.9 percent in the victories.
Against Texas A&M, he had 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a career-high two blocks and a steal. On the road at Vanderbilt, he boasted a game-high 22 points. He also chipped in with six assists and four boards. He’s dished out four more assists in seven straight games. Gilgeous-Alexander either scored or assisted on 13 of UK’s 23 made field goals in the game.
Gilgeous-Alexander has been particularly fantastic of late, benefiting from the annual Camp Cal, a time of the year when the focus is on basketball around the clock and where a number of individuals surge with school no in session. He’s averaging 17.3 points, 4.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds over his last six games beginning with his MVP performance in a rout of rival Louisville.
The honor is the first of the Canadian’s career and the second weekly honor of the season for the Wildcats. Hamidou Diallo previously earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors following a win over Virginia Tech in mid-December.
Gilgeous-Alexander and the Cats return to action with their fourth road trip in their last five games. UK will take on South Carolina at 9 p.m. ET in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday. The game will air live on ESPN.