The big man is on a roll, as Utah's center Jakob Poeltl pulled in his second major award of the off season. On Friday night, he was named the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year. This accolade joins his consensus All-American awards, his Pac-12 Player of the Year Award, and his NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award.
Utah fans are still awaiting Poeltl's decision on whether he's going to the NBA or not. It's widely presumed that he'll be taking his talents to the next level, although fans (and coaches) would love to see him back for another run on The Hill. One has to wonder, since he's picking up all of these awards, does that make his decision to leave that much easier?
Here's the official press release on his award:
LOS ANGELES - Utah's Jakob Poeltl has won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award.
The sophomore out of Vienna, Austria, was presented with the award Friday night at the second-annual College Basketball Awards show at the NOVO in downtown Los Angeles.
"Getting this award is still kind of surreal to me," Poeltl said after the awards show. "It is a great honor to have my name associated with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He one of, if not the best centers to ever play the game. He is the all-time scoring leader in the NBA. This really means a lot to me. It is a testament to all of the hard work that I have put in and all of the support that I received from both my family and my coaches."
A Second-Team Consensus All-American, Poeltl helped lead Utah to 27 wins and a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship Tournament in 2015-16. He led the team in scoring (17.2), rebounding (9.1), field goal shooting percentage (
646) and blocked shots (56). . Poeltlscored 620 points on the season to becamethe first Utah player to eclipse the 600-point mark since Andrew Bogut tallied 715 points back in the 2004-05 campaign.
Poeltlwon out over Purdue's A.J. Hammons, Providence's Ben Bentil, Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis and Weber State's Joel Bolomboy.
The winner was decided by a combination of fan votes and input from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame selection committee.