ATLANTA – Kansas junior Marcus Garrett has been named the 2020 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.
Garrett won the honor after being named one of four finalists along with Ashton Hagans (Kentucky), Tre Jones (Duke) and Mark Vital (Baylor). Garrett and DiDi Richards of Baylor, the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year winner, 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. Each winner will be honored with a ceremony at a later date.
“First, I would like to thank God. I would also like to thank my coaches and teammates because these awards are won as a team, not individually. I’d also like to thank the Naismith Awards voters,” Garrett said. “We had a great season as did the other finalists who were also worthy of this award. I hope and pray all are safe with the current happenings worldwide, and we get back to normalcy soon. Rock Chalk!”
Garrett led the Big 12 in assists (4.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7). The guard from Dallas also ranked among the Big 12 leaders in steals (fifth at 1.8). Garrett averaged 4.5 deflections per game this season, including 6.9 in his last nine outings for No. 1 Kansas. For the season, Garrett averaged 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He was the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, USBWA All-District VI, All-Big 12 Second/Third Team and a unanimous Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection.
This is the third year of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter was the inaugural recipient in 2018 and Matisse Thybulle of Washington was last year’s honoree.