The National Association of Basketball announced Tuesday that sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter has been selected as the 2019 National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Defensive Player of the Year.
Hunter, who was also named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the year, has played a key role in Virginia’s successful defense this season.
The Cavaliers currently lead the nation in fewest points allowed, giving up just 55.4 point a game. Virginia also ranks fourth and fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense and field goal percentage defense, respectively.
Hunter’s versatility and athleticism often leave him tasked with guarding opponents’ top players, regardless of whether that player specializes in three-point shooting or driving to the hoop. He’s carried out this role very successfully, demonstrated by the fact that Virginia has lost only three games this season and is currently gearing up to make their first Final Four appearance since 1984. Hunter also posts the second-highest rebounds per game on the team with an average of five rebounds per game.
This accolade comes after Hunter was recently named a second-team selection on the NABC Division I All-America team.
Hunter will be given his award Sunday, April 7, at the AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show. Along with Hunter, Duke freshman forward Zion Williamson will receive awards for Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, and Wisconsin senior forward Ethan Happ will receive the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award.