WACO, Texas — Baylor University's Davion Mitchell was awarded the title of Defensive Player of the Year by two different groups on Friday.
Mitchell scored the Naismith Men's Defensive Player title and the National Association of Basketball Coaches tile for his work with the Baylor men's basketball program.
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
He is the first player in the program's history to win the NABC defensive player title, according to the post.
Mitchell was also named the recipient of the 2021 Lefty Driesell award.
“It’s simple. Davion Mitchell is the best on-ball defender in college basketball and it’s really not even close,” Vice President of CollegeInsider.com Angela Lento said. “The young man they call “Off Night” is special.”
The 6-foot-2 junior earned the nickname “Off Night,” because the player he guards almost always has an off night.
Mitchell is from Hinesville, GA. He ranked second in the Big 12 in steals with 2.0 per contest. He led the conference in assists (5.4/game) and field goal percentage (.521), ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.07), seventh in 3-pointers made (2.3/game) and 12th in scoring (32.8).
Mitchell was also named an All-America Third Team honoree by the AP, NABC and Sporting news. He is the first player in program history named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
The Lefty Driesell Award is presented annually to the top defensive player in Division I basketball. It is named in honor of legendary former coach Driesell who won 786 games in 41 years at Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia State. He ranks eighth on the NCAA career Division I coaches victories list and his teams at each stop were known for playing tenacious defense.
From 1969-1986 at Maryland, Driesell's teams posted a 348-159 record, won two Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles and one tournament title. Driesell also led Davidson, Georgia State and James Madison to the NCAA tournament, making him one of three coaches to reach the NCAAs with four different programs.
His teams won a total of 16 regular season championships and six tournament championships.
2020-21 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team:
- Jose Alvarado 6-0 Sr. Georgia Tech
- Theo Akwuba 6-11 Jr. Louisiana
- Fardaws Aimaq 6-11 So. Utah Valley
- Charles Bassey 6-11 Jr. Western Kentucky
- Flynn Cameron 6-5 Jr. UC Riverside
- Kihei Clark 5-9 Jr. Virginia
- Elijah Cuffee 6-4 Sr. Liberty
- Chris Duarte 6-5 Sr. Oregon
- Enrique Freeman 6-7 So. Akron
- Marcus Garrett 6-5 Sr. Kansas
- Jacob Gilyard 5-9 Sr. Richmond
- Tre Gomillion 6-4 Jr. Cleveland State
- Brison Gresham 6-8 Sr. Houston
- Devontae Jones 6-1 Jr. Coastal Carolina
- Herb Jones 6-8 Sr. Alabama
- Josh Mballa 6-7 Jr. Buffalo
- Miles McBride 6-2 So. West Virginia
- Brandon McKissic 6-3 Sr. Kansas City
- Isaiah Miller 6-0 Sr. UNCG
- DAVION MITCHELL 6-2 Jr. BAYLOR
- Evan Mobley 7-0 Fr. USC
- Grayson Murphy 6-2 Jr. Belmont
- KC Ndefo 6-7 Jr. Saint Peter’s
- Yves Pons 6-6 Sr. Tennessee
- Neemias Queta 7-0 Jr. Utah State
- Dru Smith 6-3 Sr. Missouri
- Anthony Tarke 6-6 Sr. Coppin State
- Aher Uguak 6-7 Sr. Loyola Chicago
- Tyson Walker 6-0 So. Northeastern
- Lucas Williamson 6-4 Sr. Loyola Chicago
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