Davion Mitchell is Defensive Player of the Year

Davion Mitchell is defensive player of the year
Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

Baylor Men’s Basketball junior G Davion Mitchell has made quite a name for himself since he transferred to Waco from Auburn in 2018. After he made his debut in green and gold in the 2019-2020 season, Mitchell was named 2020 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, All-Big 12 Third Team and All-Defensive Team. That year he was also honored as one of the 10 finalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year award. However, no one could have predicted the enormous impact Mitchell would have on Baylor’s squad in his third season. At the beginning of March when the Big 12 conference released their postseason awards, I wrote, “Junior G Davion Mitchell (arguably the team’s most improved player and inherently reliable on both ends of the ball) was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, which was the first time a Baylor athlete had ever been given that honor. This regular season, Mitchell shot 51.6% (111-215) of his field goals, 47.2% (50-106) of 3s, and 68.9% (31-45) of free throws with a total of 125 assists, 42 steals, 7 blocks, and 303 points. Mitchell was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team (an improvement from his Third Team placement last year).” Along with those Big 12 honors, Mitchell was named to the All-Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the Associated Press’ All-Big 12 Second Team. A couple weeks after, the National Association of Basketball Coaches named Mitchell to the All-America Third Team. And as of today, he earned all three National Defensive Player of the Year awards—the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), the “NABC National Defensive Player of the Year has honored the nation’s best defensive player annually since 1987…The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award has recognized the nation’s top defender in every year since 2018…The Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given annually since 2010 to the nation’s most outstanding college basketball defender.” Mitchell is now “the first Bear to win a national award open to all positions.” As of the Final Four, Mitchell shot 52.3% (148-283) of his field goals, 45% (59-131) of 3s, and 63.3% of free throws with a total of 149 assists, 55 steals, 10 blocks, and 393 points. Going from a transfer to the best defender in all of college basketball is a huge accomplishment, and here’s hoping Mitchell will help lead the Bears to the NCAA finals tomorrow!

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