Okolie is the second-straight Crimson to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors (Laura Jacobson).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Agunwa Okolie has been named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the conference's eight head coaches.
Okolie was also named All-Ivy League honorable mention as Zena Edosomwan picked up All-Ivy League second team recognition. This marks the first All-Ivy honors of both their careers.
Okolie has been widely regarded as one of the top defensive players in the country, gaining praise from national media and opposing coaches alike. During the team's appearance at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, ESPN analyst Corey Alexander stated "We start talking about best in the nation, we need to talk about Okolie maybe being one of the best defenders in the nation." Among his defensive matchups this season were two-time Big 12 Player of the Year Buddy Hield of Oklahoma and two-time Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn of Providence, both of whom are National Player of the Year Candidates
A 6-8 guard-forward combo, Okolie's combination of size and speed allows him to cover multiple positions as he is called upon each night to defend the opposition's best perimeter player. That versatility led him to be ranked among the conference leaders in both steals per game and blocks per game, while helping the Crimson lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense and 3-point defense, and rank second in scoring defense.
Okolie improved his all-around game this season averaging career-highs across the board with 10.3 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, and 2.0 assists per game. He was even better in Ivy League play, turning in 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He reached double-digits in 11 of 14 conference games, twice led the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists, and turned in the only three double-doubles of his career.
Edosomwan also received national attention as he stepped into a featured role for Harvard. The junior, who had previously averaged just 9.3 minutes per game, led the Ivy League with 9.9 rebounds per game while scoring 13.1 points, good for 12th in the conference. He totaled 12 double-doubles to match the program record for most double-doubles in a season under Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, and fell just four rebounds shy of becoming only the second Ivy Leaguer to average a double-double for a season since 1995-96. His 276 total rebounds this season were the seventh most in program history, while his 9.9 rebounds per game ranked ninth.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Edosomwan was twice named Ivy League Player of the Week. His first award came following a dominant performance at the Diamond Head Classic where he averaged 20.3 points per game and 13.0 rebounds per game against Auburn, BYU and Oklahoma. He also received the honor this past week after averaging 13.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in the team's sweep of Princeton and Penn.