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College Basketball: Iowa’s Freeman named B1G Freshman of the Year; 5 Hawkeyes honored

IOWA CITY - University of Iowa forward Owen Freeman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a total of five Hawkeyes earned All-Big Ten honors, it was announced Tuesday by the league office.

IOWA CITY – University of Iowa forward Owen Freeman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a total of five Hawkeyes earned All-Big Ten honors, it was announced Tuesday by the league office.

Freeman (pictured at top via Hawkeye Athletics) was named the Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the league coaches along with Indiana’s Mackenzie Mgbako (Freeman was the sole honoree by the league media). The Moline, Illinois, native is the second Hawkeye in program history to earn the distinction, joining Jess Settles in 1994.

TONY PERKINS
via hawkeyesports.com

Senior Tony Perkins earned second-team All-Big Ten laurels by the coaches (and was honorable mention by the media) and junior Payton Sandfort was a third-team selection by both the media and coaches. Sophomore Josh Dix (media), Freeman (coaches, media) and graduate Ben Krikke (media) earned honorable mention all-conference accolades.

Freeman was also selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team — Iowa’s first honoree since 2020 and seventh in the Fran McCaffery era — and Krikke was tabbed as Iowa’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient.

Freeman has been the Big Ten’s best rookie, leading the league in rebounds (203), blocks (56) and double-doubles (5), while ranking second in steals (30) and field goal percentage (.636) and third in scoring. Freeman is averaging 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He has been in double figures in 15 games with two 20-point contests.

Over the course of the season, Freeman earned nine Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, which are the second-most all-time in Big Ten Conference history.

Perkins has enjoyed a breakout senior season, ranking in the top 17 in the league in scoring (14.5), assists (4.9) and steals (1.7). He is one of seven players nationally to have 450+ points, 140+ assists, 130+ rebounds and 50+ steals. The Indianapolis native has scored in double figures in 27 games with eight 20-point games.

Sandfort has emerged as Iowa’s go-to scorer, leading the team in scoring (16.2 points) and rebounds (6.5). The forward has made a Big Ten-best 83 3-point field goals, while shooting 37.1 percent from distance. Sandfort made Iowa history in February, recording the first triple-double in program history, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks against Penn State. He has been in double figures in 25 games with a team-best 10 20-point games and four double-doubles.

Dix garnered honorable mention honors after averaging 8.9 points on 56.6 percent shooting and 44.1 percent from 3-point range. The Council Bluffs, Iowa, native came on down the stretch, pouring in three 20-point games at the end of the regular season.

Krikke also earned honorable mention accolades after averaging 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds during his first Big Ten season. The Valparaiso transfer has reached double figures in 21 games, including seven 20-point contest and has three double-doubles.

Iowa (18-13) heads to Minneapolis as the No. 7 seed for the TIAA Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes open play Thursday, facing 10th-seeded Ohio State at 5:30 p.m. (CT) at the Target Center. The game will be televised live on BTN.

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