Recognition for Cauley-Stein, Towns, and Lee

03/10/2015 09:51 AM

An undefeated regular season brings lots of attention, and UK players are being recognized for their play with national and conference award nominations.

Junior center Willie Cauley-Stein is one of five finalists for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award, one of four inaugural awards the Naismith Memorial basketball Hall of Fame is presenting to the top players in college basketball this season.

Cauley-Stein joins Bobby Portis of Arkansas, Jahlil Okafor from Duke, Rakeem Christmas of Syracuse, and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky as finalists for the award named after legendary UCLA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Wildcat centerpiece is also already a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the John R. Wooden award as well as being a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy — all of which honor the men’s national player of the year.

Fellow UK frontcourt player Karl-Anthony Towns received the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week Award on Monday for the first time this season.

The freshman forward led top-ranked Kentucky to wins at Georgia and home vs. Florida last week to finish the first perfect regular season in program history. Towns averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 2 assists those two games. He has also earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors three times this season.

And last but not least, the SEC named Kentucky’s Marcus Lee to its 2014-2015 Community Service Team on Monday, recognizing Lee’s accomplishments both on and off the basketball court.

Lee has been actively engaged in the Lexington community during his two years at UK. The sophomore forward is the treasurer of Kentucky’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, coordinating projects for blanket donations for UK Children’s Hospital and sending backpacks with food supplies to local elementary schools through God’s Pantry among other activities.

The SEC names one player from each of its 14 teams to the team each season.

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