Cauley-Stein named SEC Freshman of the Week

Needed to produce more in Nerlens Noel’s absence, Willie Cauley-Stein more than stepped up last week en route to Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors.

The 7-foot forward averaged 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks — Noel-like numbers — to earn his second SEC Freshman of the Week award this year.

Cauley-Stein scored a career-high 20 points in the Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt before blocking a career-high seven shots to go along with a career-high-tying 12 rebounds in Saturday’s overtime thriller again Missouri.

For the year, Cauley-Stein is averaging 8.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.

Monday’s award marks the ninth SEC honor for the Wildcats this year. Eight of them have been SEC Freshman of the Week. Noel had captured four straight before going down with his season-ending knee injury.