February 2016

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185 J arrod Uthoff is playing the best basketball of his career and his numbers reflect that. e University of Iowa senior is posting statistics that haven't been seen in the college game for two decade and he has catapulted himself into national Player of the Year contention. Uthoff is one of only five players from a major conference since 1996-97 to average 18 points and three blocked shots per game. He's also the only player in the last 20 years to average three blocks while shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range (minimum 35 3-pointers made). His con- sistent performances have landed Uthoff on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Top 20 and John Wooden Award Top 25 midsea- son lists. "Jarrod Uthoff has put himself into national Player of the Year conversa- tion," said Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst. CBS national college basketball insid- er Jon Rothstein said, "Jarrod Uthoff is becoming appointment television with the way he is playing." "Jarrod Uthoff continues to impress. He is a legiti- mate Wooden Award candidate," said Jon Crispin, BTN college basketball analyst. Uthoff scored his 1,000th career point in Iowa's 90-76 victory at Rutgers on Jan. 21. He is just the third Hawkeye to accumulate 1,000 points and 150 blocks (Acie Earl and Greg Stokes). e 6-foot-9, 221-pound forward's contributions are not a surprise to UI head coach Fran McCaf- fery. "I watched him work hard this summer; he was in the gym every day, all day," said McCaffery. "I said to myself that this guy really wants it." Uthoff leads the Big Ten in scoring and blocked shots, something that has happened only once in the past 30 years (Purdue's JaJuan Johnson in 2011). Averaging more than 18 points, six re- bounds, three blocks, and one steal per game speaks to his level of consistency. "What's been impressive to me is how consistent he has been," McCaffery said. "He plays the game with an ease of an experienced guy who is com- fortable in his own skin. "He can shoot the ball from a different area code, post-up, pick- and-pop, put it on the deck, has a pull-up game, can finish with either hand, and has a jump-hook action. But the other thing he does is he can move his feet and defend, he can rebound, and block shots. You don't see the numbers he is putting up with that level of consistency. He has to be in the Player of the Year conversation." McCaffery also mentioned that Uthoff limits mistakes and nothing seems to rattle him. ESPN college basketball analyst Craig Robinson agrees. "Jarrod Uthoff is the new Iceman," said Robinson during the Iowa-Rutgers telecast of Iowa. As the calendar flips to February, Uthoff and his teammates have one goal. "We want to win the Big Ten and compete for a national championship," said Uthoff. FEBRUARY SCHEDULE Feb. 3 Penn State Feb. 7 at Illinois Feb. 11 at Indiana Feb. 14 Minnesota Feb. 17 at Penn State Feb. 24 Wisconsin Feb. 27/28 at Ohio State

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