CollegeInsider.com announced on Monday that UT Rio Grande Valley sophomore point guard Javon Levi is a finalist for the 2019 Lefty Driesell award, presented annually to the top defensive player in men's basketball.
The recipient of the 2019 Lefty Driesell award will be announced on April 5 at the College Insider Awards Event in Minneapolis, site of the 2019 Final Four.
The WAC Defensive Player of the Year, Levi finished the season with a program record 109 steals, the second-highest total in the NCAA this season and the second-highest single-season total in WAC history. He now ranks fifth in program history with 144 career steals. Levi also ranks third in the NCAA in steals per game (2.95), 18th in total assists (211) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.81) and 30th in assists per game (5.7).
Levi is the only player in the NCAA averaging at least 5.5 assists (5.7), 2.5 steals (2.95) and 2.1 turnovers or less (2.03) per game. Levi is also the only player averaging at least 9.9 points (9.9), 3.9 rebounds (3.9), 5.5 assists (5.7) and 2.5 steals (2.95) per game.
The award is named after Lefty Driesell, who won 786 games in 41 years at Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia State. He ranks eighth on the NCAA career Division I coaches victories list and his teams at each stop were known for playing tenacious defense. From 1969-86 at Maryland, his teams posted a 348-159 record, won two Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles and one tournament title.
Driesell also led Davidson, Georgia State and James Madison to the NCAA Tournament, making him one of three coaches to reach the NCAAs with four different programs. His teams won a total of 16 regular season championships and six tournament championships.
The complete list of finalists is below.
2019 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team
|Barry Brown Jr.||6-3||Sr.||Kansas State|
|Shaq Buchanan||6-3||Sr.||Murray State|
|Jonathan Galloway||6-10||Sr.||UC Irvine|
|Tariq Owens||6-10||Sr.||Texas Tech|
|Osun Osunniyi||6-10||Fr.||St. Bonaventure|
|Galen Robinson Jr.||6-1||Sr.||Houston|
|Chris Silva||6-9||Sr.||South Carolina|
|Justin Simon||6-5||Jr.||St. John's|
|Kenny Williams||6-4||Sr.||North Carolina|