Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball senior center Da’Shonte Riley was named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday. The award is voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Riley is the first EMU student-athlete to win the award since the history of its inception during the 1997-98 season.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for Da’Shonte to be named Defensive Player of the Year in the MAC,” EMU head coach Rob Murphy said during the MAC Teleconference Tuesday. “My staff and I are extremely proud to have coached the first player to ever win the award in EMU’s history.”
Riley finished the regular season with 87 blocks, while averaging 2.8 rejections per contest, which is the best in the MAC. The senior rejected five-or-more blocks in seven games, and four-or more in ten. The Detroit, Mich. native has been an important piece of the 2-3 zone defense, which ranked as the top field goal defense in the country.
“He has anchored our 2-3 zone the last three seasons which has helped us become one of the top defenses in the nation. He is very deserving of the honor and is a large part of why we finished the season with the best field goal defense in the country,” Murphy said.