Smoldt nets first-team all-NSIC for Upper Iowa

Former Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School all-stater and Iowa’s Mr. Basketball Joe Smoldt has been named first-team all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as a member of the Upper Iowa University men’s basketball team.

Smoldt, a graduate student in his fifth season with the Peacocks, is averaging a career-high 17.5 points per game. It’s the fourth all-conference honor for Smoldt, a 2017 Gladbrook-Reinbeck graduate who was named the NSIC’s Freshman of the Year in 2018. He was a second-team selection each of the past two seasons and is finishing with a career year.

Smoldt is one of three Upper Iowa players honored with selection to the all-NSIC teams. Jake Hillmer, the 2019 co-Iowa Mr. Basketball from North Linn, was a first-team selection, and Jareese Williams, a former all-CIML Iowa Conference pick from Mason City, earned second-team honors.

“I am happy for Joe, Jake and Jareese on their third all-NSIC recognitions,” said Upper Iowa head coach Brooks McKowen. “I am very proud of everything they have accomplished this year and throughout their careers. They are some of the hardest workers around and deserve everything they have earned.”

Smoldt started all 22 conference games for Upper Iowa this season, averaging 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from 3-point range and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line. The 2017 Iowa Mr. Basketball had nine 20-point performances in helping the Peacocks to an 18-4 record in NSIC play.

Smoldt ranks 11th in the conference in scoring, first in 3-pointers made (59), third in 3-point percentage, 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6) and 12th in minutes per game (34.1).

“Joe has had a great career at Upper Iowa and somehow finds a way to get better and better each year,” said McKowen. “He makes our team better in so many different ways. He has the ability to score it in a variety of ways, consistently finds guys and gets them easy buckets, and keeps the team calm when emotions can start to run high. Joe has had another fantastic year and continues to push this program to new heights.”

Upper Iowa is ranked 14th in the country and has the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for this weekend’s NSIC Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.