Sheppard claims top SEC honor for second time this year

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, December 28, 2023

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For the second time in his collegiate career, Reed Sheppard was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

Sheppard had his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists in Kentucky’s 95-76 win over Louisville last Thursday. His 11 assists were the most in the series against the Cardinals.

The freshman guard also had two steals in the win and he has recorded multiple steals in each of the team’s 11 games this year. Sheppard has shared the weekly honor with teammate D.J. Wagner, who also has won the weekly award twice this season.

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Sheppard has been a bright spot off the bench for the Wildcats and is averaging 12.6 points per game, fourth on the team. His biggest supporters have been his parents, former Kentucky guard Jeff Sheppard and Stacey Reed, who also played for the Wildcats. The presence of his parents in the stands hasn’t been a distraction for Reed.

“They’ve been that way my whole life — they’ve been every single game,” Sheppard said. “They’ve always been supportive and cheering for me and the team. It’s not just starting now that I’m at Kentucky, so for them, I still just see my Mom and Dad (in the stands). I don’t look at them as anything different now, just because everyone else is starting to look at them that way. But to me, I’ve seen them my whole life and they’re just being who they are.”

Cats Climbing

The Wildcats climbed to No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday. Kentucky moved up one spot to No. 8 following last Thursday’s win over Louisville, the team’s third third straight victory.

Tennessee is ranked No. 6, followed by Florida Atlantic at No. 7. North Carolina is No. 9, while SEC member Ole Miss, which is 12-0, is ranked No. 24 this week.

Purdue remains No. 1 for the third straight week and plays host to Eastern Kentucky University Friday night to close out the 2023 calendar year.

Kentucky takes on Illinois State on Friday night and will open the SEC portion of the schedule at Florida on Jan. 6. The contest is already sold out.