NEW YORK, N.Y. — Creighton guard Khyri Thomas has been named 2018 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year after a vote of league coaches. Thomas is just the 10th player in league history to win the recognition more than once, joining the likes of Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Kris Dunn and Allen Iverson among those to win the award multiple times.
Last year Thomas shared the Defensive Player of the Year award with the Villanova duo of Mikal Bridges and Josh Hart.
Thomas leads Creighton with 49 steals and also owns seven blocked shots. He ranked third in steals in BIG EAST play, and was also fifth in field goal percentage, ninth in assist/turnover ratio, 10th in minutes per game, 14th in assists per game, 14th in three-pointers per game and 16th in points per game. He became the first BIG EAST player in more than a dozen years to rank among the top-five in both steals per game and field goal percentage in league play, and was named a Second Team All-BIG EAST pick on Sunday.
The 11 men listed on the All-Conference teams that faced Creighton this season averaged 15.2 points per game against the Bluejays, compared to 18.9 points per game in all other league games. Thomas was frequently assigned to the top perimeter scoring option on the opposition.
Seton Hall sophomore guard Myles Powell has been named BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Villanova sophomore Donte DiVincenzo has been chosen for the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award and Butler senior Tyler Wideman was named the winner of the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award. The league’s head coaches choose the award winners and they are not permitted to vote for their own players.
The BIG EAST will announce the remaining individual awards: Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and outstanding Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete at a press conference at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, March 7, at 3:30 p.m. Central.
Thomas and the Bluejays will be the No. 4 seed for the 2018 BIG EAST Tournament, presented by Jeep. Creighton opens against No. 5 seed Providence on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Central.