February 22, 2010

Howard, Hayward Named Academic All-America

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler men’s basketball players Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward have been named to the 2009-10 ESPN The Magazine University Division Men’s Basketball Academic All-America Team, chosen by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).  It was the second straight year that Howard has been selected, while Hayward made the honor squad for the first time. 

Howard, a second team Academic All-American last season, earned first team recognition this year, along with Cole Aldrich of Kansas, Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame, Patrick Foley of Columbia and Yves Mekongo of La Salle.  Hayward earned third team Academic All-America recognition.  Butler was the lone school to have two players selected to the elite honor squad.

Howard, who boasts a 3.77 grade point average as a finance major, is the second player in Butler basketball history to earn first team Academic All-American recognition.  A. J. Graves was Butler’s initial first team Academic All-American in 2007.  Howard, the 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year, is currently Butler’s second-leading rebounder (5.2) and third-leading scorer (11.9).  The junior forward from Connersville has started all 29 games for the Horizon League champion Bulldogs.

Hayward, a sophomore computer engineering major with a 3.31 GPA, currently leads the Bulldogs in both scoring (15.8) and rebounding (8.5), and he’s the only player in the Horizon League to rank in the “Top 5” in the league statistics in both categories.  The 6-9 guard from Brownsburg, Ind., is a three-time Horizon League Player of the Week this season, and he was recently named to the five-player Midseason Mid-Major All-America Team by The Sporting News.

Howard and Hayward have helped lead Butler to an 25-4 record, a 17-0 mark in the Horizon League and a current 17-game winning streak, which is tied for the longest in the nation.  The Bulldogs climbed to #15 in the Associated Press national poll and #10 in the ESPN/USA Today national poll, released on Monday, Feb. 22.

Butler has had four players earn six Academic All-America certificates in the past four seasons!  Graves (2007 & 2008) and Howard (2009 & 2010) each are two-time Academic All-Americans, while Hayward joins Drew Streicher (2008) with one Academic All-America certificate.  Butler has had two players on the Academic All-America team in two of the past three years.