June 21, 2012
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Aaron White made a name for himself during his freshman season with the University of Iowa men's basketball program, but he knows he has no time to rest.
"It is a huge jump from freshman to sophomore year, especially after you make a little name for yourself," said White, a sophomore from Strongsville, Ohio. "I have stuff to work on -- my pull up game and more consistent shooting from outside -- and I am always trying to get stronger and work on my post game."
During his first year in Iowa City, the 6-foot-8 forward didn't waste any time being known. He was a Kyle Macy Freshman All-American and was named the 15th-best freshman in the country, third in the Big Ten, by ESPN.com. He was also named to the 2012 Big Ten All-Freshman Team and earned honorable mention all-conference honors.
White led the team in rebounding (5.7), ranked second in blocks (23) and third in scoring (11.1) and steals (31). His 199 rebounds are the fourth-most by an Iowa freshman and his 389 points are the fifth-most in a single season by a Hawkeye rookie.
White met with UI head coach Fran McCaffery following the season to lay out a plan on what to focus on in the summer.
"I kind of either shot a 3-pointer last year or dunked it last season," said White. "I need something in between -- a pull-up or floater -- to keep the defense honest. There is a lot to work on and this is a great time to do it."
White's daily summer schedule provides plenty of opportunities to work on his game.
"Wake-up at 6 a.m.," said White. "Lift from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30-8 a.m. Class from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Two days a week we have individual workouts in the evening. If we do not have individuals, we usually have pick-up games as a team and try and build our chemistry. Everyone loves playing so we just try and get in the gym."
Another chance to get in the gym presented itself this week in the form of the start of the annual Prime Time League. White opened with a bang, netting 40 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in his first game Tuesday night.
"It is good for us, and it is good for the fans," said White. "The fans really enjoy coming out, especially seeing the new guys. It is always good to play competitively, and we have referees, so that is better than pick-up. We always look forward to it."
Last year, summer workouts and classes were vital in helping White get off to a good start.
"The summer was huge for me to get use to the campus and to get a feel for the other guys on the team," said White. "You get to do your own thing and work on your game and work hard on your GPA with summer classes."
White feels summer workouts are off to a strong start his second time around.
"They have been going well," said White. "It is great to get started with the freshmen. It is the first time we are allowed summer workouts with the coaches, so that is going really well. Everyone is lifting and getting stronger. We are all working hard on our games in order to make that jump to a more consistent team in the Big Ten and improve upon last year."