MATT HOWARD INTERVIEW (1070 The Fan)
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler senior forward Matt Howard has been named the 2010-11 NCAA Division I Academic All-American of the Year. Howard was chosen to the Capital One Academic All-America Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA), for a school-record third consecutive year.
Howard was one of two repeat selections on the University Division first team. Graduate student Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame also was named to the first team for the second consecutive year. Rounding out the Capital One Academic All-America University Division First Team were senior Devon Beitzel of Northern Colorado, a third team pick a year ago, senior Tyrell Reed of Kansas and junior Tyler Zeller of North Carolina.
"It's a tremendous and well-deserved honor," said Butler head coach Brad Stevens of Howard's selection. "When you're dreaming of coaching and you think of the guy who's going to give you everything he has and represent your school in a positive manner in every which way to the best of his ability, you think of Matt Howard. That's what he's done for four years and his impact, like all the great ones at a lot of places, will last a lot longer than these four years."
A finance major with a 3.77 grade point average, Howard was named a second team Academic All-American in 2008-09. He moved up to the first team last year, joining former teammate A. J. Graves as Butler's only two-time Academic All-Americans in men's basketball. He's the first Butler player in any sport to earn the honor three times.
Howard, who received the NCAA Elite 88 Award for academic excellence at last year's Final Four, is a three-time member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team. He's a two-time Horizon League Academic All-League pick, and he was named league Scholar-Athlete of the Month for December of 2010. He's one of 10 finalists for this year's Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, presented for notable achievement in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
The 6-8 Butler forward currently leads the 20-9 Bulldogs and ranks third in the Horizon League in both scoring (17.1) and rebounding (8.0). He's been named Horizon League Player of the Week twice this season, and he was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Diamond Head Classic, won by Butler. Howard is a three-time All-Horizon League performer, and he was named the 2008-09 Horizon League Player of the Year. He's been named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team for three consecutive years, including being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player in 2010.
Butler has had an Academic All-American in men's basketball in each of the past five years. Graves earned the honor in 2006-07 and again in 2007-08, along with teammate Drew Streicher. Howard continued the streak in 2008-09 and then joined teammate Gordon Hayward on the honor squad in 2009-10.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.