STAMFORD, CT (March 17) -- Just when you thought Northern Illinois University fifth-year center T. J. Lux had run out of awards to receive, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Huskie garnered the ultimate men's basketball student-athlete accolade.
Not only did "The King of the Double Double" make his Academic All-America three-peat, No. 35 was the top vote-getter on the 2000 GTE-College Sports information Directors of America First-Team Academic All-America University Division men's basketball squad and the GTE Academic All-America of the Year. The team was announced by committee chair Jeff Nelson from Penn State and Mark Levine of Millsport Tuesday (March 14).
Joining Lux on the 2000 First-Team Academic All-America unit were Shane Battier from Duke, Jody Lumpkin of Charleston, Mark Madsen of Stanford, and Brandon Wolfram from Texas-El Paso.
"When you think you've seen it all or exhausted all the avenues, T. J. continues to turn heads," said Northern Illinois head coach Brian Hammel. "A three-peat of this magnitude is absolutely amazing. This is both sides of the ledger---on the court and in the classroom. T. J. is the ambassador for all student-athletes in the country. Academic All-America of the Year is another distinguished award for our program and T. J."
Past recipients of the prestigious GTE Academic All-America of the Year award in men's basketball include such standouts as Pat Garrity from Notre Dame (1998), Jacque Vaughn from Kansas (1997), Todd Fuller from North Carolina State (1996), John Amaechi from Penn State (1995), Alec Kessler from Georgia (1990), and Michael Smith from Brigham Young (1988).
"This has to be the greatest award a student-athlete can receive," Lux said. "To be considered among the top echelon and see my name on the top of the list is absolutely mind-boggling. I really don't know what to say. The three-peat is an honor---and the Player of the Year, I'm speechless. It shows the value of hard work in basketball and in the classroom. I'm sincerely indebted to my coaches, teammates, and everyone involved in the Academic All-America program. I've been extremely fortunate to be rewarded with such accolades."
Lux earned GTE First-Team Academic All-America honors as a junior in 1997-98 and GTE Second-Team Academic All-America stature as a sophomore in 1996-97---following in the footsteps of previous Huskie men's basketball Academic All-America selections such as center Tim Dillon (First-Team in 1983-84) and swingman Brad Waller (Honorable Mention in 1984-85).
On the court, Lux averaged 19.9 ppg. and 8.9 rbpg. this past winter. A First-Team All-Mid-American Conference and Second-Team National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District pick during 1999-2000, the Northern Illinois captain was runner-up for MAC Player of the Year. No. 35 became the first Huskie player to score 400 or more points for four seasons and make first-team all-conference four times (All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1995-96 and 1996-97 and All-MAC twice). A preseason Playboy First-Team All-America, Lux finished his career as the school's all-time scorer (1,996 career points) and rebounder (1,110) with an NIU-record 59 career point-rebound "double doubles." "The King of the Double Double" made GTE First-Team Academic All-District three times.
Academically, Lux carried a 3.85 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale as a grad student in institutional curriculum and supervision. A May, 1999, Northern Illinois graduate with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics education and a 3.42 undergrad cumulative gpa, Lux was awarded a medical red-shirt year after playing only five games during 1998-99 due to painful shin splints. Recipient of Playboy's national Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award, Lux is also a candidate for the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Lux was one of 40 student-athletes on the final 2000 GTE Academic All-America ballot. The team was selected by the 1,800-member CoSIDA and the Academic All-America Committee. To be eligible, an athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a 3.20 cumulative gpa. CoSIDA has been selecting Academic All-America teams since 1952.
2000 GTE-CoSIDA Academic All-America University Division Men's Basketball Team
2000 GTE-CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year: T. J. LUX, Northern Illinois University
FIRST-TEAM / Player, School, Year (Hometown)
SHANE BATTIER, Duke University, Junior (Birmingham, MI)
Major: Religion / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.35
JODY LUMPKIN, College of Charleston, Junior (Columbia, SC)
Major: Mathematics & History / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.93
T. J. LUX, Northern Illinois University, Grad Student (Merrillville, IN)
Major: Institutional Curriculum & Supervision / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.85
MARK MADSEN, Stanford University, Senior (Danville, CA)
Major: Economics / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.42
BRANDON WOLFRAM, University of Texas-El Paso, Junior (Amarillo, TX)
Major: Business Management / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.86
SECOND-TEAM / Player, School, Year (Hometown)
VALTER KARAVANIC, Bucknell University, Senior (Pula, Croatia)
Major: Electrical Engineering / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.80
ROB KRIMMEL, St. Francis (PA) College, Senior (State College, PA)
Major: History & Secondary Education / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.95
DEREK NESLAND, Portland State University, Senior (Vancouver, WA)
Major: Mathematics / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.89
JUAN "PEPE" SANCHEZ, Temple University, Senior (Bahia Blanca, Argentina)
Major: History / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.29
MATT WILLIAMS, University of Montana, Senior (Santa Barbara, CA)
Major: Physics / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.45
THIRD-TEAM / Player, School, Year (Hometown)
CARSON CUNNINGHAM, Purdue University, Junior (Ogden Dunes, IN)
Major: History / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.67
NATHAN JAMESON, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Junior (High Point, NC)
Major: Communications & Political Science / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.89
HANNO MOTTOLA, University of Utah, Senior (Helsinki, Finland)
Major: Economics / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.38
A. D. SMITH, University of Oregon, Senior, (Eugene, OR)
Major: Business Administration / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.55
(Tie) ERIC CHANNING, New Mexico State University, Sophomore (Wheaton, IL)
Major: Business / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.80
(Tie) MIKE PEGUES, University of Delaware, Senior (Forestville, MD)
Major: Communications / Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.23