Five Jayhawks honored for efforts in the classroom

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the first time since 2009, Kansas women’s basketball has five Academic All-Big 12 first team honorees, after seniors Sydney Benoit, Chayla Cheadle and Eboni Watts, junior Kylee Kopatich and redshirt sophomore Tyler Johnson were recognized for their efforts in the classroom by the league on Thursday morning.

Kopatich has earned academic all-conference honors three times in her career, her second first-team accolade, while Cheadle garnered her second all-league honor for her work in the classroom. Benoit, Johnson and Watts were all recognized with their first academic award.

An exercise science major, Benoit has appeared in 17 games this season for the Jayhawks. She is averaging 7.2 minutes off the bench as a senior. Benoit has registered 11 points, 24 rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Cheadle, a sociology major, has started six contests and appeared in 20 games during her senior campaign. She is shooting 30.4 percent from the field, while playing 21 minutes per game. Cheadle has recorded 63 points, 65 rebounds, 21 assists and nine steals.

A communications studies major, Johnson has played in 24 games for the Jayhawks in 2017-18. She is averaging 13.9 minutes and leads the team by shooting 54.2 percent from the floor. Johnson has recorded 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. She has also registered 10 assists and 12 blocks.

Kopatich, a sport management major, has started every game of her junior campaign. She is averaging a team-best 35 minutes and connecting on 38.3 percent of her shots attempted, including a 34.4 percent from long range. Kopatich is notching 13.2 points per game, second most on the squad, and has recorded 17 double-digit scoring efforts.

A liberal arts and sciences major, Watts has appeared in 23 of Kansas’ 25 games so far this season. She is averaging 6.1 minutes as a senior. Watts has netted 19 points, while grabbing 23 rebounds and swiping four steals.

First-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second-team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests.

Kansas concludes its two-game road trip at No. 3 Baylor on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m., inside the Ferrell Center. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and the Jayhawk Radio Network.



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