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Publish date: Feb 23, 2011

Butler’s Howard heads CoSIDA academic team

Senior forward Matt Howard of Butler and senior forward Austin Meier of Milwaukee School of Engineering headline the Capital One Academic All-America Men’s Basketball teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Howard and Meier were selected as the Academic All-America of the Year award winners in the university and college divisions, respectively.

A finance major with a 3.77 grade-point average, Howard was named a first-team Academic All-American for the second consecutive year. He was a second-team selection as a sophomore. A 6-8 forward, Howard was one of the stars of Butler’s run to the Division I national championship game last season where the Bulldogs lost a 61-59 decision to Duke.

This year, Howard has led Butler to a 20-9 record so far. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer, he is averaging 17.1 points per game with a .495 field-goal percentage. Howard is also the Bulldogs’ top rebounder with an 8.0 average and ranks third in the Horizon League in scoring and rebounding.

A 6-4 forward, Meier is a repeat selection on the college division first team. He has a double major in architectural engineering and construction management with a 3.93 GPA.

He has led the Raiders to a school-record 19 victories as a senior and the No. 3 seed in the Northern Athletic Conference tournament, averaging team highs of 17.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. A starter in every game of his four-year career, Meier has 873 career rebounds, the top mark in school history.

Howard is one of two repeat selections on the university division first team. Graduate student Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame was also named to the first team for the second consecutive year. Senior Devon Beitzel of Northern Colorado, a third-team honoree last season, joins senior Tyrel Reed of Kansas and junior Tyler Zeller of North Carolina on the first team. Those five first-team members have an average GPA of 3.68.

Seniors Nathan Hedgecock of Army, Blake Hoffarber of Minnesota, Levi Knutson of Colorado, Garrett Leffelman of Brown and Jalin Thomas of Central Michigan were named to the university division second team.

In the college division, joining Meier on the first team are seniors Zach Ashworth of Scranton, Sharif Bray of Cheyney and Steve Djurickovic of Carthage, as well as juniors Spencer Liddic of Muhlenberg and Aris Wurtz of Ripon College.

Due to a tie in the voting, six scholar-athletes were named to the college division first team. Their average GPA is 3.82. Senior Jared Wall of Mount Mary leads the college division second team. He is joined by senior Michael Labanowski of Rochester, senior Devon Young of Felician and junior Matt Carr of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.