University of Kentucky freshman phenom John Wall was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Player of the Year on Tuesday (March 9, 2010). Wall is currently a front-runner for the Naismith Award, which recognizes the Player of the Year in Division I Men’s College Basketball.
Wall is only the second freshman to earn the SEC’s top men’s basketball honor for a player (LSU’s Chris Jackson was named Player of the Year in 1979). He averages 16.8 points per game and 4 assists, and is speculated to enter the NBA draft after the 2009-10 season as the projected top pick .
Along with teammates Demarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson, John Wall was named a first team All-SEC selection as well. The SEC also honored Wall (as well as Cousins and fellow Kentucky freshman Eric Bledsoe) by naming him to the first-team All-Freshman team.
The SEC awards are just the latest in a growing list of accolades for the Kentucky Wildcat freshman. He was recently named Yahoo! Sports National Player of the Year, edging out Ohio State’s Evan Turner (Yahoo! Sports also named Wall a first-team All-American). The Sporting News has also named Wall their Player of the Year.
Whether or not he returns to the University of Kentucky for an additional season , Wall is already the holder of several Wildcat Basketball records or is on pace to break them. With 16 assists against Hartford, Wall set a single-season UK Basketball record for assists by not just a Kentucky player, but by a University of Kentucky freshman. He is also on pace to break the records for most points in a season by a freshman, most assists in a season by a player, and most steals by a player in a single season. Wall was also named SEC Freshman of the Week a record four straight weeks at the beginning of the 2009-10 season–his first four weeks as a college player.