Kentucky men's basketball freshman guard D.J. Wagner enjoyed a breakout week en route to a pair of victories for the Wildcats and Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week accolades. Wagner averaged 25.0 points and 5.5 assists per game in an overtime win over Saint Joseph's and a record-breaking victory over Marshall.
The award is the first weekly SEC honor for a Wildcat this season. Kentucky has dominated the weekly SEC awards with John Calipari at the helm. UK has won more weekly SEC honors (126) than any other school during the Calipari era, including 95 SEC Freshman of the Week awards and 31 SEC Player of the Week honors.
In addition to his contributions on offense, Wagner was also a menace defensively averaging 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in the two victories.
The Camden, New Jersey, native opened the week by scoring a then-career-high 22 points – including seven in the overtime period against the Hawks. Wagner was clutch down the stretch making 5 of 6 free throws with three minutes remaining and in the overtime period.
Wagner then followed that performance with 28 points to help UK to a 118-82 win over Marshall. His 28 points are the most scored by any UK player this season and the 118 points are the most scored by a Calipari-coached team at Kentucky. Kentucky generated 69 points in the opening half, which was the most scored in any half by the Cats in Rupp Arena history. Wagner was efficient with a 71.4% field-goal rate and he knocked down two 3-pointers, while also being strong from the charity stripe.
For the season, Wagner is averaging 14.5 points, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Wagner and the Wildcats will host Miami for a 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday matchup in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter's Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.
On This Day In UK Basketball History
- On March 2, 1970, Dan Issel scored 42 points against Auburn.
- On March 2, 1991, before a crowd of 24,310, the then-largest crowd in Rupp arena history, the Wildcats closed out the 1990-91 season with a 22-6 overall record. Although UK was ineligible for the SEC title because of probation, the Wildcats secured the best record in the league (14-4) with a 114-93 win over Auburn to end its two-year probation. A ceremony and parade followed.
- On March 2, 1996, with a 101-63 victory over Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena on Senior Day, UK became the first team in 40 years to finish with a perfect record in the SEC, a 16-0 sweep. It was the Wildcats’ 25th win in a row, tying the school record for consecutive wins in a season. Two games later, they set the new record at 27 games.
- On March 2, 2012, Darius Miller, in his final performance at Rupp Arena, led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points on Senior Night in a 30-point win over Georgia.