Fresh off a regular season where he set a new American Athletic Conference single-season steals record, tied a USF single-game steals record and finished seventh in the NCAA in steals per game, redshirt junior Laquincy Rideau was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The West Palm Beach native is the first player in USF’s 48-year history to win a conference defensive player of the year award.
Rideau led the AAC with 2.9 steals per game and set the conference's single-game record with 10 steals in a road loss to Temple on January 12, a game where he also registered USF’s first-ever triple-double (18 points, 10 assists and 10 steals) in a conference contest.
On February 7 in a last-second victory at SMU, Rideau notched his 69th steal of the year to become the program’s all-time single-season steals leader, breaking a previous record that stood for 45 years. A week later, Rideau added five steals in a game at C. to become The American’s single-season steals leader and went on to finish with 80 total takeaways in the regular season.
On of the offensive side, Rideau also leads the AAC with 5.5 assists per game and can become the first player in conference history to lead the league in assists and steals.
Eighth-seeded USF opens the AAC Tournament on Thursday afternoon at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, facing the No. 9 seed UConn at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. View the entire bracket here.