Ohio State guard Aaron Craft has added to an already overflowing trophy case. On Thursday, the National Association of Basketball Coaches named Craft the National Defensive Player of the Year.
Craft joins Greg Oden as the only Buckeyes to ever receive the award.
“The NABC National Defensive Player of the Year award culminates one of the most extraordinary careers I’ve experienced in all my years associated the college basketball,” head coach Thad Matta said in a statement. “From the first practice through his final game, Aaron Craft utilized every ounce of his ability on the basketball court, particularly on the defensive end. Aaron and his family certainly deserve this recognition.”
Craft will be presented with the award at the Final Four in Dallas Sunday.
During a decorated four-year career, Craft broke numerous program and Big Ten records. His 337 steals are the most in conference history and his 98 steals as a sophomore established a new single-season school record.
Mike Krzyzewski, Billy Donovan, Bill Self, Tom Izzo and Bo Ryan are just a handful of coaches who lauded Craft’s defensive prowess the past four years. Kansas was the lone school out of those five that Ohio State didn’t beat during Craft’s career. Still, he managed to tally six steals in three games.
Craft is a two-time recipient of the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year award and four-time member of the conference’s all-defensive team.