Cats unanimous at No. 2 in polls, Wall wins freshman award


Freshman guard John Wall and freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins celebrate in the last seconds of the UK men’s basketball game against Alabama at Rupp Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010. The Cats won 66-55. Photo by Adam Wolffbrandt

The Louisville Cardinals helped UK (24-1, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) in a couple different ways.

With the Cardinals 66-60 victory at Syracuse yesterday afternoon, the Cats are the new No. 2 team in the land in the Associated Press top 25. And while UK is well on pace to earn a No. 1 seed, the Louisville win helps UK’s strength of schedule and RPI (even if it’s just by a little).

Kansas (24-1) retained the No. 1 spot after a pair of victories over Texas and Iowa State.

Villanova (22-2), Purdue (21-3), and Syracuse (24-2) round out the top five.

Duke (21-4) moved up two spots to No. 6 after winning at rival North Carolina on Wednesday and demolishing Maryland on Saturday.

Kansas State (20-4) also moved up two spots. The Wildcats are No. 7 this week after defeating Iowa State and Colorado and multiple losses to teams previously ranked in front of them.

West Virginia (19-5) fell to No. 8 and Georgetown (18-6) dropped to No. 10 this week. Ohio State is ranked No. 9 The Mountaineers lost both games last week, and Georgetown was upset by Rutgers on Sunday.

Tennessee and Vanderbilt join SEC as the only other SEC teams in the AP top 25. Tennessee (18-6, 6-4 SEC) fell to No. 20 after a pair of road losses to Vanderbilt and UK. The Commodores moved up from No. 22 to No. 17 with wins over Tennessee and Louisiana State.

The Cats are still No. 2 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Wall wins SEC Freshman of the Week

After an eight-week hiatus, UK guard John Wall is the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week once again.

Wall earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors four straight weeks from week 2-5. It wasn’t until this week that he earned his fifth award.

Wall averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists and two steals in the Cats’ two home victories over Alabama and Tennessee.

Wall is now averaging 17 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.9 steals on the season, leading the Cats in points, assists and steals.

The freshman trio of Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins have dominated the SEC player of the week awards. One of those three freshmen have been named either Freshman of the Week or Player of the Week in 11 of the 14 weeks the awards have been given out. Cousins in week 8 and junior forward Patrick Patterson in week 2 are the only times UK has won SEC Player of the Week.

Wall’s fifth SEC Freshman of the Week award is the most by any freshman. Cousins has the second most with three, Bledsoe and Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins each have won the award twice.