Cats move up in polls, Cousins wins fourth SEC award


Freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins fights for the ball during the second half of the game against Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena on Saturday. Photo by Zach Brake

With the loss of the previous No. 2 Villanova Wildcats, it was only fitting another group of Cats enjoy the benefits.

UK (22-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) moved up one spot to No. 3 in the newest version of the Associated Press top 25, and received two first-place votes.

Kansas (22-1) remained at No. 1 in the land, with Syracuse (23-1) and UK moving up one spot to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

Villanova (20-2) dropped two spots to No. 4, and West Virginia (19-3) moved up one spot to No. 5 after previous No. 5 Michigan State (19-5) lost back-to-back games on the road to Wisconsin and Illinois. The Spartans weren’t aided by the injury of starting guard Kalin Lucas.

Purdue (19-3) moved up to No. 6 this week and Georgetown (17-5) remained at No. 7 in the polls despite thumping Villanova. This is likely due to the Hoyas getting upset by South Florida earlier in the week.

Duke (19-4), Kansas State (19-4) and Michigan State round out the top 10.

Mississippi (17-6, 5-4 SEC), previously No. 25, fell out of the top 25 after losing to UK 75-85 on Feb. 2. Only two teams other than UK remain in the top 25. Tennessee (18-4, 6-2 SEC) moved up two spots to No. 12 this week and Vanderbilt (17-5, 6-2 SEC) checks in at No. 22 after losing to Georgia on Saturday.

The Cats are ranked No. 2 in the Coaches poll, receiving one first place vote.

Cousins wins Freshman of the Week

For the fourth time this season, UK freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins was named a player of the week in the Southeastern Conference. This time it was SEC Freshman of the Week, his third time winning that award this season.

Cousins averaged 18.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in wins over No. 25 Mississippi and at Louisiana State. Cousins has recorded six straight double-doubles on the season, and is the first UK player since 1989 to accomplish that feat. Cousins’ 14 double-doubles on the season lead the SEC and are the most by a UK player since 2000.

Cousins is now averaging 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game on the season.

Cousins earned SEC Player of the Week honors in week eight, and has been named SEC Freshman of the Week for weeks seven, 11 and 13.