WACO, Texas — Baylor's most well-regarded defender earned the nation's top defensive award Monday.
Didi Richards, a junior guard from Cypress, Texas, was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's National Defensive Player of the Year.
The honors comes after Richards was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and earned her second-straight unanimous All-Big 12 Defensive Team honor. Richards is also a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year honor, which is expected to be announced later this week.
With Richards help, the reigning national champion Lady Bears finished 28-2 overall, winning their 10th-straight Big 12 women's basketball championship. During the 2019-20 season, Baylor led the country in defensive field goal percentage for the fourth-straight year, holding opponents to 31% shooting.
According to the coaching video exchange Synergy, Richards held her defensive assignments to 26.2% shooting while setting career highs with 1.7 steals per game and 25 blocks on the season.
Richards becomes the second Baylor player to earn the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year Award, with Brittney Griner winning it in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
During her junior season, Richards scored 8.2 points per game and led the Big 12 is assists per game (5.7) and assists-to-turnover ratio (2.92), the latter of which was the fourth-best mark in the country.