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Locked down: Justin Simon named Big East Defensive Player of the Year

The California guard has earned a high honor from the league.

Wendell Cruz

Justin Simon, the 6’5” junior starter for the Red Storm, has been named the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year, voted on by the Big East’s coaches.

Simon joins Sir`Dominic Pointer (2015) and Mark Jackson (1987) as Defensive Players of the Year.

Tasked with defending some of the league’s best scorers, Simon excelled in particular against Marquette’s Marcus Howard, perhaps providing a blueprint to slow the scorer down — with a taller but hyper-athletic player.

St. John’s has excelled in forcing turnovers; the Johnnies have made opponents turn the ball over on 20% of their possessions in conference play, and have held opponents to 34.1% shooting outside the arc — second best in the Big East after providence, percentage points better at 33.9%. St. john’s also leads the league in steal percentage.

Simon has also contributed shot blocking to his steady defense for the Red Storm.

Justin Simon joins Shamorie Ponds in receiving honors; Ponds was named to the Big East’s First Team.

A two-year starter, Simon and the Red Storm face off against DePaul on Wednesday night to open the Big East Tournament.