Richmond men's basketball junior guard Jacob Gilyard was named Thursday as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2019-20 Naismith Men's Defensive Player of the Year award. Gilyard is the only semifinalist from a non high-major conference team.

The Big East, Big 12 and ACC conferences each have multiple semifinalists, with the Big Ten and SEC each having one semifinalist as well.

Gilyard currently leads the NCAA Division I with 3.14 steals per game and 88 total steals.

The Richmond single-season steal record is 89, set by Gilyard in the 2017-18 season. Last season, Gilyard finished with 88 total steals.

Gilyard also has 265 career steals, the most in Richmond basketball history.

In Richmond’s 73-70 victory last night against George Washington, Gilyard had three steals, including a crucial takeaway in the closing minutes of the game.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club has been awarding the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award to one men’s and one women’s player since the 2017-18 season.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter was the inaugural winner of the men’s award, and Washington guard Matisse Thybulle took home the honor last season.

On March 12, the four finalists for the award will be announced before the winner is revealed on April 5.

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