Jarrod Uthoff, Ally Disterhoft earn nation's top academic honors

Chad Leistikow

You’ve heard of Iowa Nice. How about Iowa Smart?

Iowans dominated the NCAA’s Academic All-American teams announced Thursday, with Iowa Hawkeyes Jarrod Uthoff and Ally Disterhoft earning the nation’s top honor overall for men and women.

Uthoff, who grew up in Marengo and played at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, was one of five first-team Academic All-Americans on the men’s side as determined by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Uthoff graduated in May with a degree in economics, and he carries a 3.42 GPA – including a 4.0 in the fall semester while pursuing a graduate degree. He leads the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots (2.7 per game) and is No. 2 in scoring (18.4 points per game). CoSIDA also made him the Academic All-American of the Year, the second Hawkeye to earn that distinction (Adam Haluska, 2007).

Iowa's newest recruit Jack Nunge could offer coach Fran McCaffery, left, a lot of what Jarrod Uthoff, right, brought to the court for the Hawkeyes.

Among the other first-teamers was North Carolina’s Marcus Paige, a Marion native who played at Linn-Mar High School. Iowa player Mike Gesell, a native of South Sioux City, Neb., was a second-team Academic All-American. Gesell owns a 3.94 GPA and was a third-teamer last year.

Drake’s Kale Abrahamson, a native of West Des Moines, was on the all-academic third team.

On the women’s side, Disterhoft – a junior who studies accounting and finance and owns a 4.03 GPA – was a first-teamer after being third team as a sophomore. It is the first time the same university had both Academic All-American of the Year recipients. Disterhoft played her high school ball at Iowa City West.