SALT LAKE CITY — Utah center Jakob Poeltl has added another sizeable award to his growing list of accolades. On Thursday, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced that the consensus second-team All-American is the 2016 Pete Newell Big Man of the Year.
Poeltl will be honored at the AT&T NABC “Guardians of the Game” Awards Show in Houston on April 3. He joins Andrew Bogut (2005) as the only players in Utah history to win the award.
Other previous honorees include: Jahlil Okafor, Duke (2015); Patric Young, Florida (2014); Mason Plumlee, Duke (2013); Anthony Davis, Kentucky (2012); JaJuan Johnson, Purude (2011); Greg Monroe, Georgetown (2010); Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (2009); Michael Beasley, Kansas State (2008); Greg Oden, Ohio State (2007); Glen Davis, LSU (2006); Emeka Okafor, Connecticut (2004); David West, Xavier (2003); Drew Gooden, Kansas (2002); Jason Collins, Stanford (2001); and Marcus Fizer, Iowa State (2000).
Poeltl had a stellar sophomore campaign. The 7-footer from Austria led Utah to a second straight NCAA tournament appearance and 27 victories. He topped the team in scoring (17.2), rebounding (9.1), blocked shots (56) and field goal percentage (.646).
The Pac-12 Player of the Year is a finalist for national honors including the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy. He’s also in the running for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year awards.
Poeltl is expected to announce his intention to enter the NBA draft after Monday’s national championship game.
HEADED TO HAWAII: Utah will participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Dec. 22-23 and 25. The Utes will be joined by Hawaii, Illinois State, San Diego State, San Francisco, Southern Mississippi, Stephen F. Austin and Tulsa.