IOWA CITY, Ia. – Aaron White has managed to avoid the freshman wall that many rookies seem to slam into when the season reaches February.
In fact, White seems to be going in the other direction.
“Aaron, in particular, has really taken his game to another level and it’s fun to watch him continue to get better and better every game,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
White, a 6-foot-8 forward from Strongsville, Ohio, was named the Big Ten’s co-freshman of the week on Monday. He averaged 13 points and eight rebounds in Iowa’s victories against Minnesota and Penn State.
His line in the Penn State victory was impressive: 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals. That established new career highs for assists and blocked shots, and matched his career best for steals.
“I think he’s terrific,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said.
White made five-of-nine shots from the field, including two 3-pointers in four tries, and five-of-six free throws.
“He’s a guy that impacts the game in so many ways with his length and with his feel for how to play, and he’s shooting the ball pretty well now from the perimeter,” McCaffery said. “When you have a 6-8 guy who is making 3s and can also put it on the deck and go dunk it or make a play for somebody else, that’s a guy that other teams are going to have to gameplan against. It’s great to have that, especially for a freshman.”
McCaffery was limited in how many minutes he could give White earlier in the season, because his stamina was in question. But White played a career-high 32 minutes against Penn State. His previous longest time on the floor, 28 minutes, came against Minnesota and Nebraska at home Jan. 26.
That improved stamina has allowed White to race down the floor and score in transiton, ever after the opponent has made a basket.
“I think the impressive thing is how he’s continued to improve his stamina to be able to do it,” McCaffery said.
White is averaging 10.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes, 13-11 overall and 5-6 in the Big Ten, return to action Thursday in an 8 p.m. game at Northwestern.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball