April 3, 2005
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Duke junior Shelden Williams was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday, April 3, in St. Louis, Mo. Williams, a 6'9" forward, is the eighth Blue Devil to claim the 19-year old award, joining Tommy Amaker (1987), Billy King (1988), Grant Hill (1993), Steve Wojciechowski (1998) and Shane Battier (1999, 2000 & 2001).
"Shelden is a different type of defensive player than we have had in the past, but he is definitely up there with the other Duke standouts who have claimed National Defensive Player of the Year honors," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He's the best shot blocker I've coached and with our team this year he was the main reason we were a good defensive team. Shelden really anchored our defense and winning the award is a great honor for him."
Williams closed the season with a school record 122 blocked shots, surpassing his total of 111 from last season. He currently ranks second on Duke's career charts with 285 rejections and eighth all-time in the ACC with 2.77 blocks per game. In 2004-05, Williams set a Blue Devil single-season record by averaging 3.7 blocks per game. The Forest Park, Okla., native blocked at least one shot in 32 of Duke's 33 games and registered three or more blocked shots on 23 occasions. Williams also closed the year with a team-high 242 defensive rebounds and third on the team with 42 steals.
"It is an honor to be named the National Defensive Player of the Year and have my name up there with a lot of great players," Williams said. "I have been blessed with a great opportunity here at Duke. I can't really explain the feeling of just being a part of the great list of guys before me. This is an outstanding honor. I was chosen over a lot of other deserving players and I am blessed to be selected for this award."
Williams has earned second team All-America honors from Rivals.com and third team All-America accolades from AP this season. He was also the 2005 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament team selection. Williams closed the year averaging an ACC-leading 11.2 rebounds per game, while also leading the league in blocked shots (122) and defensive rebounds (7.33 pg.). He was also a presence on the offensive end of the floor, finishing the year ranked tied for 11th in the league in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and second in field goal percentage (.582).
NABC Defensive Players of the Year
1987 Tommy Amaker Duke 1988 Billy King Duke 1989 Stacey Augmon UNLV 1990 Stacey Augmon UNLV 1991 Stacey Augmon UNLV 1992 Alonzo Mourning Georgetown 1993 Grant Hill Duke 1994 Jim McIlvaine Marquette 1995 Tim Duncan Wake Forest 1996 Tim Duncan Wake Forest 1997 Tim Duncan Wake Forest 1998 Steve Wojciechowski Duke 1999 Shane Battier Duke 2000 Kenyon Martin Cincinatti Shane Battier Duke 2001 Shane Battier Duke 2002 John Linehan Providence 2003 Emeka Okafor Connecticut 2004 Emeka Okafor Connecticut 2005 Shelden Williams Duke