Shortly before Christmas, Iowa fans still weren't sure what they had in freshman forward Aaron White. In his debut, he'd racked 19 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes, but that was against Chicago State.
His scoring average bottomed out at 7.4 after a December 9 loss to Iowa State. Even worse, he was shooting a shaky 36.6 percent at the time.
From there? Just 12.6 PPG on 55.3 percent shooting. White racked up 16 double-figure scoring games, including three double-doubles. He truly exploded in the NIT, totaling 47 points and 19 rebounds in the Hawkeyes' two games.
Coming into this season, White is obsessive about getting into better shape, with an eye toward a whole season of 30-plus-minute games. Last season, his first such game came in February.
Such improvements should also make White an even more potent rebounder. His 5.7 per game ranked eighth in the Big Ten. His offensive and defensive rebounding percentages both placed in the league's top 12, as well.
Award season was kind to White, seeing him named a Kyle Macy Freshman All-American, a member of the Big Ten's All-Freshman team and honorable mention All-Big Ten. If he makes all the improvements he wants to make, White could add several more awards to his mantle while pulling Iowa back to the NCAA tournament.