Baylor’s Davion Mitchell sweeps National Defensive Player of the Year Awards

Davion Mitchell trying to make a play against Kansas (courtesy Baylor Athletic Communications)

4/2/2021

Mitchell claimed Naismith, NABC and Lefty Driesell Defensive POY honors

WACO, Texas – Baylor junior guard Davion Mitchell has swept three National Defensive Player of the Year awards, as announced Friday by the NABC, Atlanta Tipoff Club and College Insider.
 
The Hinesville, Ga., native was announced as NABC Defensive Player of the Year at 10 a.m. CT Friday, and one hour later he was revealed as Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year. Combined with the Lefty Driesell Award he picked up on Thursday, Mitchell swept all three National Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
 
Mitchell was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and he was selected for the award ahead of Alabama’s Herbert Jones, USC’s Evan Mobley and Utah State’s Neemias Queta. Mitchell was one of 10 semifinalists for the same award last season, along with teammate and 2020 award finalist Mark Vital. Both Mitchell and Vital repeated as semifinalists in 2021.
 
“Winning National Defensive Player of the Year is a huge honor and I’m thankful to the committees for picking me out of so many great defenders,” Mitchell said. “There are countless people who have helped me work on my game over the years, and I’m so happy for all of them that they’re being rewarded for all of the time they’ve invested. My family, my coaches, all of my teammates and the grad assistants who have lived with me in the gym, they all played a part in this award. I thank God every day for this opportunity to play the game I love, and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete for a national championship with my teammates.”
 
Mitchell follows Johnathan Motley as the second national individual award winner in Baylor program history. Motley picked up the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award to become Baylor’s first individual award winner. Mitchell is the first Bear to win a national award open to all positions.
 
The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award has recognized the nation’s top defender in every year since 2018. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter won the inaugural award, followed by Washington’s Matisse Thybulle in 2019, Kansas’ Marcus Garrett in 2020 and Mitchell in 2021.
 
The National Association of Basketball Coaches will present Mitchell with his NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award during tonight’s AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show, which will be broadcast on Stadium (watchstadium.com) at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday.
 
NABC National Defensive Player of the Year has honored the nation’s best defensive player annually since 1987. Mitchell joins an elite group with previous honorees such as three-time winner Stacey Augmon of UNLV, Georgetown’s Alonzo Mourning, Duke’s Grant Hill, three-time winner Tim Duncan of Wake Forest, three-time winner Shane Battier of Duke, Cincinnati’s Kenyon Martin, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and West Virginia two-time winner Jevon Carter.
 
The Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given annually since 2010 to the nation’s most outstanding college basketball defender. Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado won the inaugural award, followed by Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. Last year’s Lefty Driesell Award went to Merrimack’s Juvaris Hayes.
 
Baylor, which earned the first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in program history, has advanced to its third NCAA Tournament Final Four in program history and the first in the modern era. The South Region champion No. 1 seed Bears will face Midwest Region champion No. 2 seed Houston at 4:14 p.m. CT Saturday on CBS. The game will be Baylor’s first appearance in the Final Four since 1950.
 
Follow @BaylorMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the season.
 
NABC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
1987 – Tommy Amaker, Duke
1988 – Billy King, Duke
1989 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         
1990 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         
1991 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         
1992 – Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown
1993 – Grant Hill, Duke
1994 – Jim McIlvaine, Marquette
1995 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest
1996 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest
1997 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest
1998 – Steve Wojciechowski, Duke
1999 – Shane Battier, Duke
2000 – Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati & Shane Battier, Duke
2001 – Shane Battier, Duke
2002 – John Linehan, Providence
2003 – Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
2004 – Ekema Okafor, Connecticut
2005 – Shelden Williams, Duke
2006 – Shelden Williams, Duke
2007 – Greg Oden, Ohio State
2008 – Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
2009 – Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
2010 – Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
2011 – Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
2012 – Anthony Davis, Kentucky
2013 – Victor Oladipo, Indiana & Jeff Withey, Kansas
2014 – Aaron Craft, Ohio State
2015 – Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
2016 – Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
2017 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia
2018 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia
2019 – De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
2020 – Udoka Azubuike, Kansas
2021 – Davion Mitchell, Baylor
 
NAISMITH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2018 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia
2019 – Matisse Thybulle, Washington
2020 – Marcus Garrett, Kansas
2021 – Davion Mitchell, Baylor
 
LEFTY DRISELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2010 – Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
2011 – Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion
2012 – Anthony Davis, Kentucky
2013 – Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook
2014 – Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
2015 – Darion Atkins, Virginia
2016 – Vashil Fernandez, Valparaiso
2017 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia
2018 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia
2019 – Matisse Thybulle, Washington
2020 – Juvaris Hayes, Merrimack
2021 – Davion Mitchell, Baylor
 
2020-21 BAYLOR MBB HONORS
Jared Butler
Wooden Award Finalist (1 of 5)
Naismith Trophy Semifinalist (1 of 10)
Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Finalist (1 of 5)
All-America First Team (unanimous)
Big 12 Player of the Year (AP; The Athletic)
NCAA Tournament All-Region Team
All-Big 12 First Team (unanimous)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team
USBWA District VII Player of the Year
USBWA District VII All-District Team
NABC All-District 8 First Team
Academic All-Big 12 First Team
Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 15)
Lute Olson Award Midseason Watch List
NCAA National Player of the Week (Jan. 25)
Naismith Trophy Player of the Week (Jan. 25)
USBWA National Player of the Week (Jan. 26)
Big 12 Player of the Week (Jan. 25)
 
Scott Drew
Big 12 Coach of the Year (second-straight year)
Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year Finalist (1 of 4)
USBWA Henry Iba Award Finalist (1 of 4)
NABC District 8 Coach of the Year
USBWA District VII Coach of the Year
 
Adam Flagler
Academic All-Big 12 First Team
 
Davion Mitchell
Naismith Defensive Player of the Year
NABC Defensive Player of the Year
Lefty Driesell Award
All-America Third Team (AP; NABC, Sporting News)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
NCAA Tournament South Region MVP
All-Big 12 First Team (coaches)
All-Big 12 Second Team (AP)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team (unanimous)
NABC District 8 First Team
USBWA District VII All-District Team
Naismith Trophy Midseason Team (1 of 30)
Big 12 Player of the Week (Feb. 1)
 
Jackson Moffatt
Academic All-Big 12 First Team
 
Mark Paterson
Academic All-Big 12 First Team
 
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua
Big 12 All-Newcomer Team
Academic All-Big 12 Second Team
 
MaCio Teague
Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Finalist (1 of 5)
All-America Third Team (NCAA March Madness)
All-America Honorable Mention (AP)
NCAA Tournament All-Region Team
All-Big 12 Second Team (AP)
All-Big 12 Third Team (coaches)
Big 12 All-Tournament Team
USBWA District VII All-District Team
Academic All-Big 12 Second Team
NCAA National Player of the Week (March 8)
Big 12 Player of the Week (March 8)
 
Mark Vital
Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist (1 of 10)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (The Athletic)
All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Big 12 All-Defensive Team (unanimous)
Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Watch List
 

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