Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
IOWA CITY Iowa forward Aaron White earned his third Big Ten Freshman of the Week award Monday after a pair of solid performances last week.
White shared the award with Northwestern guard Dave Sobolewski. White also earned top freshman honors on Nov. 14 and Dec. 26.
White, a Strongsville, Ohio native, scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished four assists, blocked three shots and had two steals in Iowa's 77-64 win against Penn State on Saturday. That comes off a nine-point, seven-rebound effort in a 63-59 win against Minnesota.
"He's been huge," Iowa senior guard Matt Gatens said. "He was one board from a double-double (Saturday). He's just scratching the surface.
"He's so versatile. He can do so many things, run the floor. It seems about once every game he's past the defense and gets a quick layup. That's a huge score on top of the other team. A kid who really understands the game. He's going to be a special one."
White averages 10 points and five rebounds a game. He moved into the starting lineup last week against Indiana.
White struggled with fatigue early in the season but has worked on his conditioning after Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery brought it to his attention.
"I took that to heart," White said. "I wanted to prove, not only to Coach, but to everyone on the team I can play 30 minutes at this level and withstand it. I can still improve there. I got winded once late in the first half, but I'm getting better."
White competes at multiple positions in Iowa's transition offense but mostly plays a power forward position. At 6-foot-8 he's versatile enough to compete in the post, yet athletic enough to shoot the 3-point shot. He made two against Penn State and has 10 this season.
"I think that's what Coach brought me here for, versatility," White said. "It just depends on how the game lays out, what I need to do. (Saturday) I did a little bit of everything, I grabbed nine rebounds, I scored when it came my way. I try to play the passing lanes. Whatever the team needs to get a win, that's what I try to do."
White's play has earned him an admirer from afar.
"(White) is a tremendous player," former Iowa Coach Tom Davis said last week. "Coach McCaffery and his staff saw something in him that a lot of different people didn't see. He's a terrific player."