March 5, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior Matt Gatens and freshman Aaron White have earned Big Ten men’s basketball postseason accolades. The Big Ten announced its all-conference teams and individual awards Monday.
Gatens (6-5, 212) was named second team all-Big Ten by the league’s media voting panel and was recognized on the third team by the coaches. Gatens was also honored with the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. White (6-8, 225) was named to the league’s five-member all-freshman team, which is selected by the conference coaches, while the media gave the talented freshman overall honorable mention laurels.
Gatens becomes the first Hawkeye to be named to the first, second or third team since Tony Freeman was recognized on the coaches’ third team in 2008. Gatens’ second team honor, by the media, is the highest by a Hawkeye since Adam Haluska was a first team selection in 2007. The postseason honor is Gatens’ first by the conference; he was honorable mention in 2010.
Gatens started all 31 games for the Hawkeyes and finished the 18-game conference season ranked fifth in league scoring (17.0). The Iowa City native has led Iowa in scoring a team-best 14 times this season, including the last six games. He scored 20 points or more a single-season best eight times in 2011-12. Gatens drained a school record 12 consecutive 3-pointers spanning the Indiana and Wisconsin games last month. Gatens’ overall scoring average of 15.7 is the highest by a Hawkeye since Adam Haluska averaged 20.7 during the 2007 campaign. For his career, he is one of only two Hawkeyes to ever amass over 1,500 points, 400 rebounds, 250 assists and 125 steals (Roy Marble).
White becomes the fourth Hawkeye in as many years to be named to the all-Freshman team. Gatens was selected to the squad in 2009; Eric May earned the rookie praise in 2010, while Melsahn Basabe was recognized a year ago.
White started the last 10 games of the season, ranking third on the team in scoring (10.4), first in rebounding (5.4) and second in blocks (21). His numbers improved during Big Ten play, averaging 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. His 53.5 percent field goal percentage during league action ranked sixth. The native of Strongsville, Ohio, scored in double figures 14 times, including 13 of the last 21 contests. White, who posted a team-best three double-doubles, was a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Nov. 14; Dec. 26; and Feb. 6). He has led the team in rebounding six of the last eight contests. His 168 rebounds rank as the sixth most by an Iowa rookie in a season. White was named the 15th-best freshmen in the country in an ESPN.com midseason report.
The league coaches named Indiana’s Cody Zeller Freshman of the Year, while the media panel selected Michigan’s Trey Burke. White, Zeller and Burke are joined on the all-freshman team by Northwestern’s Dave Sobolewski and Branden Dawson of Michigan State. Zeller and Burke were unanimous selections.
Michigan State’s Draymond Green was selected by the coaches and media as Player of the Year. The coaches and media both named Michigan State’s Tim Izzo as Coach of the Year.
Conference coaches selected Ohio State’s Aaron Craft as Defensive Player of the Year and D.J. Byrd of Purdue as Sixth Man of the Year.
The coaches and media each had Michigan State’s Draymond Green (unanimous by both), Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Northwestern’s John Shurna and Robbie Hummel of Purdue on their respective first teams. The fifth player on the coaches five-member first team was Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, while the media had Penn State’s Tim Frazier.
Both second teams featured Michigan’s Trey Burke, Cody Zeller of Indiana and Ohio State’s William Buford. Frazier and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas were second team choices by the coaches, while Gatens and Taylor were on the media’s second team.
The coaches’ third team consisted of Illinois’ Brandon Paul, Tim Hardaway, Jr. of Michigan, Northwestern’s Drew Crawford, Keith Appling of Michigan State and Gatens. In addition to Appling, Crawford and Hardaway, Jr., Ohio State’s Thomas and Craft were recognized by the media.
The coaches’ all-defensive team featured Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Draymond Green of Michigan State, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Tim Frazier of Penn State and Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser.
Iowa begins play at the Big Ten Tournament Thursday against Illinois. Tip-off is 10:30 a.m. (CST) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will be televised to a national cable audience on BTN and available online at BTN2Go.com.