Vols’ Zeigler Named Semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year

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KNOXVILLE, TN - March 09, 2024 - Guard Zakai Zeigler #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers at Food City Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics
KNOXVILLE, TN - March 09, 2024 - Guard Zakai Zeigler #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers at Food City Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – March 13, 2024 – Zakai Zeigler of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, as announced Wednesday afternoon by Atlanta Tipoff Club/Naismith Awards.

The prestigious list features just 10 individuals on a national level, including two—Auburn’s Johni Broome is the other—from the SEC.

This is the second consecutive year Zeigler is a semifinalist for the elite honor. Three others who made the cut this year also did so in 2022-23: Purdue’s Zach Edey, Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner and Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr.

Recently named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Zeigler ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (1.87). He finished second in that category in league play (2.11).

NAISMITH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALISTS
Adrian “Ace” Baldwin Jr., Penn State
Reece Beekman, Virginia
Johni Broome, Auburn
Devin Carter, Providence
Zach Edey, Purdue
Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton
Tamin Lipsey, Iowa State
Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas
Jamal Shead, Houston
Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee

Source: UT Sports
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