ATLANTA (January 22, 2019) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the midseason watch list of players in contention for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Bona. The list includes 15 men’s college basketball players whose defensive efforts on the court have set them apart from the pack.

“Defense makes up a huge part of every win in college basketball, and we’re excited to recognize those who defend the hardwood,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “These players represent on-court toughness and a defensive tenacity that make them worthy of consideration for this award.”

The following is the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List presented by Bona:

BarryBrown, Jr.Sr.GKansas StateBig 12
TackoFall Sr.CUCFAAC
BrunoFernandoSo.FMaryland Big Ten
AshtonHagansFr.GKentucky SEC
EthanHappSr.FWisconsin Big Ten
De'AndreHunterSo.GVirginia ACC
KylorKelleyJr.FOregon StatePac-12
MattMooneySr.GTexas Tech Big 12
JordanMurphySr.FMinnesotaBig Ten
TariqOwensSr.FTexas Tech Big 12
ZavierSimpsonJr.GMichigan Big Ten

“Congratulations to these fantastic athletes for their hard-earned skills and impressive performance,” said Tiffany Baird, brand manager, Bona US. “It’s been an exciting season so far, and we’re looking forward to the coming months. At Bona, we’re proud to be the brand that protects and personalizes the floor of your favorite team, including 29 professional floors in the U.S. and countless collegiate and premium fitness facility wood gym floors worldwide.”

With seven conferences represented on the list, the Big Ten leads defensively with four players chosen, and close behind with three players represented is the Big 12, whose Jevon Carter of West Virginia won the inaugural award. Texas Tech is the only team to have two players included on the list. Players not on the Midseason Watch List are still eligible to be selected as award semifinalists, which will be announced in February.


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the top men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches.  Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983.  Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Bona, the Citizen Watch Company and Werner Ladder.


Bona is an innovative, environmentally-conscious company dedicated to creating beautiful floors since 1919. Bona US, the North American subsidiary of BonaAB in Malmö, Sweden, manufactures and distributes floor care and home cleaning products. For decades, most professional and collegiate athletes have played on floors finished with Bona Sport® waterborne finishes, sealers and paints. Bona provides the most complete system of sport products in the industry including waterborne and oil modified finishes, paint, machines, abrasives, adhesives and a fast, effective maintenance system.  From residue-free hardwood floor cleaners to a beautiful array of stains and high durability finishes, consumers, distributors and contractors trust Bona. For more information, please contact Bona US at (800) 872-5515 or


 Media Contacts:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

[email protected]


Heather Lindemann for Bona


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