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2021 Naismith Coach And Defensive Player Of The Year Awards Announced

Naismith Coach of the Year: Mark Few

Mark Few is the 2020-21 Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year after leading Gonzaga to an undefeated season.

Few beat out fellow finalists Scott Drew of Baylor, Juwan Howard of Michigan and Nate Oats of Alabama.

The Bulldogs have been dominant all season long, holding the No. 1 position in the AP Poll from preseason to postseason rankings. They lead the nation in scoring offense at 91.6 points per game. They’ve outscored opponents by an average of 23.1 points per game in 2020-21.

“The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is an incredible honor. I’m very humbled by it because I’m surrounded by so many amazing coaches in our profession that I look up to and really hold in great reverence,” said Few.

Especially with the year we all have been through, I think everybody did an amazing job shepherding their teams through all the challenges. This really means a lot. It’s great to be honored, and I appreciate it.”


Naismith Defensive Player of the Year: Davion Mitchell

Baylor Basketball Davion Mitchell (

Baylor University’s Davion Mitchell holds the title of the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year.

Mitchell was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. He beat out fellow finalists Herbert Jone, Evan Mobley and Neemias Queta.

The 6-foot-2 guard ranked second in the Big 12 in steals with 2.0 per contest. He also led the conference in assists (5.4/game) and field goal percentage (.521), ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3). This season, he averaged 14.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Mitchell is also a third-team All-American and won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award.

“Winning the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year is a huge honor, and I’m thankful to the committee for picking me out of so many great defenders,” said Mitchell. 

There are countless people who have helped me work on my game over the years, and I’m so happy for all of them that they’re being rewarded for all of the time they’ve invested. My family, my coaches, all of my teammates and the grad assistants who have lived with me in the gym, they all played a part in this award. I thank God every day for this opportunity to play the game I love, and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete for a national championship with my teammates.”


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