HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana), who is ranked among the top three players in the country in blocked shots, has been named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced today.
The 7-0 sophomore, who was named an All-League Honorable Mention pick on Monday, has started every game this season for the Huskies and has been a defensive force near the rim. His 3.37 blocks per game average ranks third in all of Division I, as does his total of 101 blocks this season. In the 18 AAC games, Brimah has 72 blocks, a 4.0 average, which leads all conference players.
Brimah’s 101 blocks already stands as the ninth-best total for a single season in UConn history and his career total of 193 ties him with Jake Voskuhl for fifth on UConn’s all-time list.
Brimah joins a long line of UConn players who have received Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Emeka Okafor (2002-03, 2003-04) and Hasheem Thabeet (2007-08, 2008-09) were each named twice as the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year and both were also back-to-back winners of the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year Awards for the same seasons.
Brimah also leads the Huskies and the entire American Athletic Conference in field goal percentage. His .698 mark would be tops in Division I if he had enough made baskets to qualify and his .699 field goal percentage in conference games leads the league.
Other individual awards announced by the AAC today included SMU’s Markus Kennedy as the Sixth Man Award, his SMY teammate Yanick Moreira as the Most Improved Player, and Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin as the winner of the Sportsmanship Award.
The awards are determined by a vote of the league’s coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.
The awards for Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be announced at a press luncheon on Thursday as the American Athletic Conference Championship begins play with three games at the XL Center.