The postseason plaudits keep rolling in for Jarrod Uthoff. Last week, in addition to being named a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, he earned a spot on USA Today's third-team All-American team. He did one better than that this week, earning second-team All-America honors from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Another potseason honor for senior Jarrod Uthoff! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/DILSnGcDjV— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 14, 2016
The USBWA honor is significant because Uthoff is the first Iowa player to ever earn All-America honors from that organization. The USBWA is not some Johnny-come-lately to the All-America game, either -- they've been selecting recipients for All-America honors since 1960. That means Iowa's absence of All-Americans from their ranks includes some very good players, like Andre Woolridge, Ronnie Lester, Fred Brown, John Johnson, and Don Nelson, to name a few.
Joining Uthoff on the USBWA second-team were Kris Dunn (Providence), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Jakob Poeltl (Utah), and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky). The USBWA first team was comprised of Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Ben Simmons (LSU), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), and Denzel Valentine (Michigan State).
Uthoff has also been named a second-team All-American by Sporting News and a third-team All-American by Scout.com. Uthoff is unquestionably the most decorated Iowa basketball player in decades -- at least since Woolridge dazzled Iowa fans 20 years ago. While the end of this season hasn't been what anyone wanted or expected to see from Iowa, it's still worth taking a moment to remember Uthoff's excellence and breathtakingly unique game. His form has dipped a bit from the all-world levels he was at in January, but he's been a key driver for all of Iowa's success this season and his ability to block shots, drain 3s, and glide to the bucket has been a blast to watch. Hopefully Uthoff has a few more excellent performances in him this season.
Uthoff's All-America prowess extends beyond the court as well -- he was named the Academic All-American of the Year as well. And, yes, the use of a definite article is correct there -- he wasn't just an Academic All-American, but the Academic All-American. In fact, Iowa made history by sweeping the Academic All-American of the Year awards for men and women -- Ally Disterhoft joined Uthoff in earning top honors in this category on the women's side.
Congrats to Ally Disterhoft, Jarrod Uthoff on earning the highest academic honor in their sport. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/malqeBErdy— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) March 3, 2016
As sports fans, we get caught up in wins and losses and that's understandable. Neither Iowa team has had quite as many wins as we would have hoped or expected to see a few months ago, but we should still take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of Uthoff and Disterhoft, both on the court and in the classroom. Well done, Jarrod and Ally.