LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman guard Tyler Herro is among 20 players on the preseason watch list for the 2019 Jerry West Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Herro is one of five freshman on the preseason list, and he is the only first-year player among Southeastern Conference nominations. The league is represented with four candidates among the preseason list of 20 players. Also included were Auburn’s Bryce Brown, Florida’s KeVaughn Allen and Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon.
Named after Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West, this year’s award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in April. The Wildcats’ Malik Monk won the award in 2017 after averaging 19.8 points per game during his freshman campaign. He is the only Wildcat to win the award.
A 6-foot-5 guard, Herro was a five-star recruit and a Jordan Brand Classic All-American. He was ranked as high as No. 30 overall by ESPN and was the best prospect from the state of Wisconsin.
A versatile scorer, Herro led the Wildcats in scoring with 17.3 points per game during their summer exhibition tour to the Bahamas. He also added 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as UK won all four games in a week’s span. He had 15 or more points in all four victories, including a game-high 22 against San Lorenzo. He shot 57.5 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from long range, while also connecting on all 15 attempts from the free throw line.
During his final high school season, Herro enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons of any player in the country. He averaged 32.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game as a First Team All-State selection out of Whitnall. The Milwaukee native, shot better than 50 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from behind the arc. He eclipsed more than 100 makes from 3-point range. Herro scored 40 or more eight times as a senior and finished his illustrious career as a 2,000-point scorer.
By mid-February, the watch list will be trimmed to just 10 players. Five finalists will be revealed in March with the winner being announced during the annual ESPN College Basketball Awards show on April 12, 2019.
Kentucky is slated to begin exhibition play beginning with its annual Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday. That game will air live on the SEC Network at 7 p.m. ET. UK will follow that with two tune-ups against Transylvania on Oct. 26 and Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Nov. 2. Both of those games will also air live on the SEC Network with 7 p.m. tip times. The Wildcats open the regular season in Indianapolis for the Champions Classic. They will face Duke at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.