Craft wins national NABC honor

Feb 22, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft (4) and Minnesota Golden Gophers guard DeAndre Mathieu (4) fight for a loose ball during the first half of the game at Schottenstein Center.

Robert Leifheit/Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named Ohio State’s Aaron Craft as its Div.I 2014 National Defensive Player of the Year.

Craft completed his career last month as the Big Ten’s all-time steals leader with 337 and was twice named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Multiple coaches called him one of the best on-ball defenders they’d ever seen.

Nationally, Craft finished in the No. 4 spot in total steals in 2013-14 and was No. 7 in steals per game (2.54). Craft has the two best seasons as far as steals in program history, too, with 98 as a sophomore in 2011-12 and 89 this season.

He becomes the second Ohio State player to win the NABC honor, following Greg Oden in 2006-07. The NABC honor has been awarded since 1987; Craft is just the third point guard to win it.