Hunter named ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Virginia claims DPOY honors for fourth time in last five years

big-at7i9082

Sophomore forward De'Andre Hunter was notably versatile for the Cavaliers this year.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Sophomore forward De’Andre Hunter became the fourth Virginia player in the last five years to be named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The athletic guard has been praised for his versatility on both ends of the court and was also named to the All-ACC First Team this season Monday. 

The Cavaliers have consistently been recognized for producing strong defense that is spearheaded by skilled individual defenders, making the ACC’S DPOY honors a frequent highlight for the program. Last year, Isaiah Wilkins picked up the award, while Malcolm Brogdon claimed the honor in 2016 and Darion Atkins claimed it in 2015. 

This year, Hunter earns the award after leading Virginia’s top-ranked defense that allows just 54.6 points per game. Throughout the season, Hunter has been tasked with guarding opponents’ top players. The Cavaliers’ 16-2 ACC record is a testament to Hunter’s success in that role. He has averaged 5.2 rebounds a game, good for second best on the team and has posted two double doubles this season. Back in February, Hunter was named one of the 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award. 

Along with Hunter, the conference’s All-Defensive Team includes Duke’s Zion Williamson and Tre Jones, Clemson’s Elijah Thomas and Georgia Tech’s James Banks III. 

Hunter and the Cavaliers will begin postseason play Thursday at 12:30 p.m. when they take on either Clemson or N.C. State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Charlotte, N.C.

related stories