UCLA guard Jaylen Clark wins National Defensive Player of the Year award
UCLA guard Jaylen Clark has been named the Defensive Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Clark is the first player from a Pac-12 school to win the NABC’s DPOY award, which began handing out the award in 1987. He also took home the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award after helping the Bruins to the league lead in scoring defense (60.7 points allowed per game).
𝐍𝐀𝐁𝐂 𝐃𝐄𝐅𝐄𝐍𝐒𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑.
Congratulations to UCLA’s Jaylen Clark (@jayl7en) on securing the NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award (@NABC1927).
Clark ranks No. 4 in the nation in steals per game (2.6).
🗒️🏆: https://t.co/4h6srONDiE pic.twitter.com/C8DkK97mM5
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 28, 2023
Clark ranks fourth in the nation in steals per game (2.6). He averaged 13 points, six rebounds and 2.6 steals in 30 games during his junior campaign. Clark ranked first among all Pac-12 players this season in steals (78) and steals per game (2.6). He also earned a spot on the Pac-12’s All-Defensive Team for the second straight season.
A 6-foot-5 guard from Riverside, Clark finished out the year tied for third on UCLA’s single-season steals leaderboard (78, tied with Darren Collison’s total from 2006-07). But his season ended prematurely because of a lower-leg injury in UCLA’s final home game on March 4.
Clark has the opportunity to come back next season, a decision he’s currently mulling. UCLA’s season came to a close in the Sweet 16 last Saturday.