Howard named nation’s top student-athlete

Butler senior Matt Howard has been named the 2010-11 NCAA Division I Academic All-American of the Year.

“It’s a tremendous and well-deserved honor,” Butler head coach Brad Stevens said in a statement yesterday. “When you’re dreaming of coaching and you think of the guy who’s going to give you everything he has and represent your school in a positive manner in every way to the best of his ability, you think of Matt Howard.

“His impact, like all the great ones at a lot of places, will last a lot longer than these four years.”

Howard, a finance major with a 3.77 GPA, was named a second team Academic All-American in 2008-09. He was named to the first team last year, joining former teammate A.J. Graves as Butler’s only other two-time Academic All-Americans in men’s basketball.

He’s also currently third in voting for this year’s Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented for notable achievement in community, classroom, character and competition.

Howard currently leads the Bulldogs (20-9, 12-5 HL) in points and rebounds per game, and also ranks third in the Horizon League in both categories.  He’s been named Horizon League Player of the Week twice this season and was voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Diamond Head Classic.