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Michigan Basketball’s Zavier Simpson named semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year

The Michigan Wolverines point guard has been one of the most impressive defensive players in the nation this season

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s junior point guard Zavier Simpson has been named a semifinalist for the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year award.

Simpson is one of 10 semifinalists for the award. The junior guard averages 1.5 steals per contest, good enough for sixth in the Big Ten. Likewise, Simpson leads the Big Ten in defensive win shares at 2.4.

This comes just one day after freshman David DeJulius called Simpson, “the greatest thing to ever happen to my game” because of how tough the junior guard has been on him in practice.

Simpson is a member of the No. 3 ranked defense in the country, allowing just 57.8 points per game.

Simpson has shut down some of the best guards in the country including Carson Edwards, who shot just 7 of 21 against Michigan earlier this season, and Maryland’s Anthony Cowan Jr., who scored only 10 points against the Wolverines this past weekend. We will see how Simpson will fair against arguably the best guard in the Big Ten, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, on Sunday when the two rivals face off.

This play is a testament to the ferocity that the Michigan point guard plays with:

Simpson was the only semifinalist from the Big Ten. Other semifinalist include Duke’s Zion Williamson and Tre Jones, Tennessee’s Grant Williams, and Virginia guard De’Andre Hunter.