Kansas State’s Barry Brown Jr. named semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of Year

For the first time since your boy was in high school and Donald Trump was nothing more than an obnoxious but ultimately innocuous host of “The Apprentice,” someone other than Kansas is in position to win the Big 12.

That year was 2004–when Oklahoma State won the league title.

This year, Kansas State (20-6, 10-3) has a one-game lead over KU and Texas Tech with five games to go. They take on the Jayhawks in a huge game on February 25.

The Wildcats have been winning with defense, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that their leader, heart and soul and point guard Barry Brown Jr. has been named one of the 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

Brown was one of two Big 12 players named as semifinalists, joining Texas Tech graduate transfer Tariq Owens. The other semifinalists include Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Duke’s Tre Jones and Zion Williamson, Michigan’s Zavier Simpson, Washington’s Matisse Thybulle and Tennessee’s Grant Williams.

The 6-3 guard from St. Petersburg, Florida currently captains the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense (59.8 ppg.). The Wildcats rank among the national leaders in several defensive categories and have held 14 of 26 opponents to 60 points or less this season.

The school’s all-time steals leader, Brown currently ranks seventh in Big 12 history with 240 steals, just seven behind Kansas’ Russell Robinson (2004-08) for sixth place. He needs 25 more steals to crack the Top 5.

Brown is also averaging 15.9 points and 2.7 assists per game for the ‘Cats.

Also see:

After last year’s improbable run, Kansas State is putting it together, and could be dangerous again

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