Weber Finalist for National Defensive POY

Briante Weber broke the VCU all-time steals record this season, recording a total of 290 steals in just 3 years in uniform. But VCU fans first took notice of Weber's incredible defensive skill during his freshman year, where he first began chasing the national steals leaderboards with very limited playing time.

Today, Weber is nationally recognized for his defensive prowess, being named a finalist for the 2014 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year. He joins the ranks of Aaron Craft, Marcus Smart, and Scottie Wilbekin (just a few popular names on the list) in this Defensive All-American status.

The winner of the Lefty Driesell award will be announced on April 4 in Dallas, at the Final Four location.

Full press release from <a href="" target="_blank">VCU Athletics</a>:
<blockquote>RICHMOND, Va. – Earlier this season Dayton Head Coach Archie Miller stated, “<i>Briante Weber</i><i> to me is the premier defensive player in all of college basketball.”</i>

Miller’s statement was backed up this week when VCU’s all-time leader in steals was named a finalist for the 2014 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year and earned Defensive All-American status.

“I’m humbled and honored to be nominated for the award,” Weber said. “It’s a testament to my teammates and coaches for constantly pushing me to get better.”

<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Weber set the VCU and Atlantic 10 single season steals mark with 121 in 35 games. He finished the year with 18 more steals than any other player in the country. His 121 steals rank as the 13</span><sup style="line-height: 1.5em;">th</sup><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">-highest single season total in NCAA history.</span>

<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">In VCU’s win over Richmond on Feb. 1, the Chesapeake, Va. native became the program’s all-time steals leader, breaking Rolando Lamb’s 29-year old school record of 257. Weber now sits at 290 career steals.</span>

<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Weber also led the country in steal percentage (% of defensive possessions that he’s on the floor and gets a steal) for the third consecutive season. When he was on the floor, VCU’s opponents averaged just 61.2 ppg (0.87 points per possession).</span>

<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">24 other players were honored as part of the Defensive All-American squad. That list includes Cameron Ayers (Bucknell), Khem Birch (UNLV), Alec Brown (Green Bay), Rhamel Brown (Manhattan), Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Tekele Cotton (Wichita State), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Scott Eatherton (Northeastern), Joel Embiid (Kansas), Justin Jackson (Cincinnati), Jordair Jett (Saint Louis), Nick Johnson (Arizona), Du'Vaughn Maxwell (Hampton), K.J. McDaniels (Clemson), Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech), Chris Obekpa (St. John’s), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana at Lafayette), Trevor Releford (Alabama), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Kenneth Smith (Louisiana Tech), Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), Scottie Wilbekin (Florida), Kendall Williams (New Mexico) and Patric Young (Florida).</span>

<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The winner of the 2014 Driesell award will be announced at the Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.</span></blockquote>
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Matt has been reporting on VCU sports for Ram Nation since 2007 with a focus on news, photos, and feature stories.
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Matt Morton
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