BOSTON, Mass. – Over the past two seasons, HAVOC has become synonymous with VCU Basketball. After 56 wins the past two years and leading the country in turnovers forced and steals in back-to-back seasons, there's a reason VCU is known for HAVOC.
Leading the HAVOC defense over that stretch was senior Darius Theus, who's efforts were recognized this week when he was named to the 2013 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American team. He becomes the first VCU player in history to earn defensive All-American honors.
"It's truly a great honor. I wouldn't be able to achieve this without my teammates and coaches pushing me every day to be the past player and leader I could be," Theus said.
Theus helped the Rams lead the country in total steals (422), steals per game (11.7) and turnovers forced (19.7). The Portsmouth, Va. native tallied the third-highest single-season steal total in VCU history with 85 thefts on the season. He finished his career with 237 steals, which ranks as the second highest in school history. While Theus was on the floor this year, VCU's opponents averaged 63.6 per 40 minutes, the lowest for any Ram.
Joining Theus on the team was Khem Birch (UNLV), Tommy Brenton (Stony Brook), Will Cherry (Montana), Ian Clark (Belmont), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), Jontel Evans (Virginia), Shane Larkin (Miami), Zeke Marshall (Akron), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Chris Obekpa (St. John's), Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Trevor Releford (Alabama), André Roberson (Colorado), Durand Scott (Miami), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Michael Snaer (Florida State), D.J. Stephens (Memphis), Julian Washburn (UTEP) and Jeff Withey (Kansas).
The Lefty Driesell award is named in honor of coaching legend Lefty Driesell, who is the only person to ever win 100 games at four different Division I schools. He is best known for his time at Maryland, leading the program to the National Invitational Tournament title in 1972 and its second-ever ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. He finished his career at Maryland with a 348-159 record and concluded his career with an impressive 786-394 mark.
The 2013 Lefty Driesell award will be presented to the nation's top defensive player on April 5 at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.