Story Poster
Photo by Denny Medley\Big 12 Conference
Baylor Basketball

Baylor's Davion Mitchell Sweeps National Defensive Player of the Year Awards

April 2, 2021

WACO, Texas – Baylor junior guard Davion Mitchell has swept three National Defensive Player of the Year awards, as announced Friday by the NABC, Atlanta Tipoff Club and College Insider.

The Hinesville, Ga., native was announced as NABC Defensive Player of the Year at 10 a.m. CT Friday, and one hour later he was revealed as Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year. Combined with the Lefty Driesell Award he picked up on Thursday, Mitchell swept all three National Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

Mitchell was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and he was selected for the award ahead of Alabama’s Herbert Jones, USC’s Evan Mobley and Utah State’s Neemias Queta. Mitchell was one of 10 semifinalists for the same award last season, along with teammate and 2020 award finalist Mark Vital. Both Mitchell and Vital repeated as semifinalists in 2021.

“Winning National Defensive Player of the Year is a huge honor and I’m thankful to the committees for picking me out of so many great defenders,” Mitchell said. “There are countless people who have helped me work on my game over the years, and I’m so happy for all of them that they’re being rewarded for all of the time they’ve invested. My family, my coaches, all of my teammates and the grad assistants who have lived with me in the gym, they all played a part in this award. I thank God every day for this opportunity to play the game I love, and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete for a national championship with my teammates.”

Mitchell follows Johnathan Motley as the second national individual award winner in Baylor program history. Motley picked up the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award to become Baylor’s first individual award winner. Mitchell is the first Bear to win a national award open to all positions.

The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award has recognized the nation’s top defender in every year since 2018. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter won the inaugural award, followed by Washington’s Matisse Thybulle in 2019, Kansas’ Marcus Garrett in 2020 and Mitchell in 2021.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches will present Mitchell with his NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award during tonight’s AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show, which will be broadcast on Stadium ( at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday.

NABC National Defensive Player of the Year has honored the nation’s best defensive player annually since 1987. Mitchell joins an elite group with previous honorees such as three-time winner Stacey Augmon of UNLV, Georgetown’s Alonzo Mourning, Duke’s Grant Hill, three-time winner Tim Duncan of Wake Forest, three-time winner Shane Battier of Duke, Cincinnati’s Kenyon Martin, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and West Virginia two-time winner Jevon Carter.

The Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given annually since 2010 to the nation’s most outstanding college basketball defender. Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado won the inaugural award, followed by Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. Last year’s Lefty Driesell Award went to Merrimack’s Juvaris Hayes.

Baylor, which earned the first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in program history, has advanced to its third NCAA Tournament Final Four in program history and the first in the modern era. The South Region champion No. 1 seed Bears will face Midwest Region champion No. 2 seed Houston at 4:14 p.m. CT Saturday on CBS. The game will be Baylor’s first appearance in the Final Four since 1950.

Follow @BaylorMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the season.



1987 – Tommy Amaker, Duke

1988 – Billy King, Duke

1989 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         

1990 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         

1991 – Stacey Augmon, UNLV         

1992 – Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown

1993 – Grant Hill, Duke

1994 – Jim McIlvaine, Marquette

1995 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest

1996 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest

1997 – Tim Duncan, Wake Forest

1998 – Steve Wojciechowski, Duke

1999 – Shane Battier, Duke

2000 – Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati & Shane Battier, Duke

2001 – Shane Battier, Duke

2002 – John Linehan, Providence

2003 – Emeka Okafor, Connecticut

2004 – Ekema Okafor, Connecticut

2005 – Shelden Williams, Duke

2006 – Shelden Williams, Duke

2007 – Greg Oden, Ohio State

2008 – Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

2009 – Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

2010 – Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State

2011 – Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

2012 – Anthony Davis, Kentucky

2013 – Victor Oladipo, Indiana & Jeff Withey, Kansas

2014 – Aaron Craft, Ohio State

2015 – Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

2016 – Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

2017 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia

2018 – Jevon Carter, West Virginia

2019 – De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

2020 – Udoka Azubuike, Kansas

2021 – Davion Mitchell, Baylor

Discussion from...

Baylor's Davion Mitchell Sweeps National Defensive Player of the Year Awards

2,892 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 17 days ago by Porteroso
How long do you want to ignore this user?
What a honor. He's in good company
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Way to go.

Now NCAA and officials, please note that we tune in to watch the National Defensive PLAYer OTY play. Not sit on the bench for 30% of the game with 2 ticky tack fouls of 3 in the first 8 min of the game.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Totally deserved.
Page 1 of 1
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.