Tennessee’s Zakai Ziegler up for national honor

UT point guard named to Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list.
University of Tennessee basketball practice
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 3:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee sophomore guard Zakai Zeigler was named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday. Midway through his second season as a Vol, Zeigler has posted elite defensive numbers in addition to his impressive offensive numbers.

Through 20 games this season, Zeigler recorded a team-high of 46 steals and is averaging 2.4 steals per game in SEC play—a mark that ranks third in the conference. In total this season, Zeigler has eight games with three or more steals, including five with four or more takeaways.

He ranks 22nd among all Division I players in steal percentage—recording a steal in 4.8% of possessions in which he is on the court.

As a team, Tennessee leads the nation in scoring defense (53.7 ppg) and opponent field goal percentage (.339) while ranking eighth in the nation in steals per game (9.7 spg). Zeigler is one of three Vols with 30 or more steals this season.