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Featured News / February 13th, 2017

Best Defensive Player: Torrey Craig

The Brisbane Bullets’ Torrey Craig, who led the NBL in defensive rebounds and finished top-ten in blocks, has been named 2016-17 NBL Best Defensive Player, announced at the NBL MVP Awards Night at Peninsula in Docklands, Melbourne.

Craig becomes the fourth Bullets player to win the award, joining Leroy Loggins (1987 & 1990), Ben Castle (2004) and Sam Mackinnon (2007).

Each club nominated one player for the Award with the Head Coach, one Assistant Coach and the Team Captain then voting in a 3-2-1 format (3 votes being indicative of the most deserving). Voters were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

Craig received a total of 41 votes to win the Award.

Rounding out the top three in the voting were the Illawarra Hawks’ Mitch Norton (22 votes) and the Perth Wildcats’ Jameel McKay (20 votes).

The 198cm Craig, who played the last two seasons with Cairns before signing with Brisbane, averaged a career high 1.14 steals per game this season and led the NBL in defensive rebounding, averaging 6.0 per game.

Craig’s length, quickness and versatility allowed him to guard multiple positions and provided Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis with a handy weapon at the defensive end of the floor.

The 26-year-old produced arguably his best defensive performance in Round 7, when his stifling defence on Adelaide 36ers point guard Jerome Randle – as well as his 34 points and 11 rebounds – led the Bullets to an 18-point victory over the 36ers.

 

All-Time NBL Best Defensive Player Award

1980 – Ray Wood, West Adelaide Bearcats

1981 – Ray Wood, West Adelaide Bearcats

1982 – Phil Smyth, St. Kilda Saints

1983 – Phil Smyth, St. Kilda Saints

1984 – Not awarded

1985 – Not awarded

1986 – Not awarded

1987 – Leroy Loggins, Brisbane Bullets

1988 – Phil Smyth, Canberra Cannons

1989 – Phil Smyth, Canberra Cannons

1990 – Leroy Loggins, Brisbane Bullets

1991 – Terry Dozier, Geelong Supercats

1992 – Terry Dozier, Newcastle Falcons

1993 – Terry Dozier, Newcastle Falcons

1994 – Darren Lucas, South East Melbourne Magic

1995 – Darren Lucas, South East Melbourne Magic

1996 – Isaac Burton, Sydney Kings

1997 – Mike Kelly, South East Melbourne Magic

1998 – Mike Kelly, South East Melbourne Magic

1999 – Darnell Mee, Adelaide 36ers

2000 – Darnell Mee, Adelaide 36ers

2001 – Darnell Mee, Adelaide 36ers

2002 – Simon Dwight, West Sydney Razorbacks

2003 – Glen Saville, Wollongong Hawks

2004 – Ben Castle, Brisbane Bullets

2005 – Darnell Mee, Wollongong Hawks

2006 – Darnell Mee, Cairns Taipans

2007 – Sam Mackinnon, Brisbane Bullets

2008 – Chris Anstey, Melbourne Tigers

2009 – Adam Gibson, South Dragons

2010 – Dillon Boucher, New Zealand Breakers

2011 – Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

2012 – Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

2013 – Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

2014 – Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

2015 – Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

2016 – Kevin Lisch, Illawarra Hawks

2017 – Torrey Craig, Brisbane Bullets