Tre Jones Named Semifinalist for Defensive Player of Year


Tre Jones was named one of the 2020 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year award, which will be presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The Duke point guard is one of two ACC players on the 10-player list, joined by Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite. He’s also one of three sophomores selected, along with Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans and Baylor’s Davion Mitchell. No freshmen made the cut.

The entire list is below:

Mamadi Diakite, Virginia

Marcus Garrett, Kansas

Romaro Gill, Seton Hall

Jacob Gilyard, Richmond (3.14 steals per game leads the nation)

Ashton Hagans, Kentucky (1.93 steals, No. 45 in country)

Tre Jones, Duke (1.8 steals per game)

Davion Mitchell, Baylor

Zavier Simpson, Michigan

Aaron Thompson, Butler

Mark Vital, Baylor

Jones is tied for fifth in the ACC in steals and is a top on-ball shutdown defender. Six starting guards for Duke opponents have been held scoreless by the Jones-led Blue Devil defense this season. Jones also held Kansas point guard Devon Dotson to 5-of-9 shooting and six turnovers, Michigan State point Cassius Winston to 4-of-14 shooting and two turnovers and UNC’s Cole Anthony to 7-of-17 and four turnovers.

This is Jones’ second straight year as a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist. He and teammate Zion Williamson were both selected as freshmen. Williamson went on to be named one of four finalists for the honor. This is the third year the awards has been given. A Duke player has never won it.

The finalists for the defensive award will be revealed on March 12. The winner of the 2020 Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year will be announced on Sunday, April 5, during the Naismith Awards Brunch in Atlanta.