ATLANTA, Ga. – Duke sophomore guard Tre Jones has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award, presented annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The finalists include Jones, Marcus Garrett (Kansas), Ashton Hagans (Kentucky) and Mark Vital (Baylor) and were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, who based their selections on outstanding on-court defensive performances during the 2019-20 regular college basketball season.

The winner is scheduled to be announced on April 1, and honored with a ceremony at a later date.

Named both the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, and an Associated Press All-American, Jones was the floor general for the Blue Devils, who finished 25-6 and 15-5 in the ACC. The sophomore team captain, who is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the John R. Wooden Award, ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.2), second in assists (6.4), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (+2.4), sixth in steals (1.8) and 11th in field goal percentage (.423). He was the only player ranked in the league’s top 11 in each of those categories.

“Each of these finalists enjoyed an incredible season, and all of them deserve to be a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Their tenacity embodies the spirit of this award, and although we won’t see them in postseason play, we believe it is important to still honor their accomplishments.”

No program in college basketball has won more Naismith Defensive Player of the Year trophies than Duke’s nine, which have been won by six different Blue Devils. Shelden Williams was the last Duke winner, claiming the award in 2005 and 2006.

Brian Horace

Brian Horace

I’ve been a Duke fan for as long a I can remember, been actively writing about the team since probably 2006 or so, seriously since 2009. I am a homer so expect no less than that. I always welcome suggestions no matter how blunt. I am also a huge music fan, not genre specific and by music fan I mean music snob. Enjoy.

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