The 6-foot-9 forward from Dallas received the honor Monday from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He joins former Wildcats Nerlens Noel (2013), Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2012), Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight (2011) and DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall (2010) to receive the honor during John Calipari's time at UK.
Randle is averaging a team-high 15.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for Kentucky (24-10) who will play Friday against Kansas State in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis.
His 20 double-doubles this season ranks second nationally and tied Davis and Cousins for the most by a freshman in UK history. He is only five off the school's all-time mark (25) set by Hall of Famer Dan Issel during the 1969-70 season.
Randle has pulled down 358 rebounds, which ranks third by freshmen at UK and 13th overall. His 177 made free throws recently topped Wall's record.
In addition to his USBWA honor, Randle was named the SEC's Newcomer of the Year and selected first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press on Monday. Fellow freshman James Young was tabbed honorable mention All-SEC.