For the first time in 11 years, the Mid-American Conference has a repeat king of defense as Zeke Marshall as named the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year, the league office announced on Tuesday.
Marshall is just the second repeat winner in the award's 17-year history, joining Kent State's Demetric Shaw (2001-02). An Akron player has now won the award in four of the last five years, including Marshall in 2012, Jimmy Conyers in 2010 and Nate Linhart in 2009.
"There isn't much surprise that Zeke was named Defensive Player of the Year," ninth-year head coach Keith Dambrot said. "He is one of the elite shot blockers in the nation and his presence at the rim is felt by every team we play."
In games through March 11, Marshall is fifth in the nation in blocked shots (3.63 bpg) and has been one of the most efficient rim protectors in the nation, blocking 1.40 shots per foul committed (sixth nationally). Marshall is blocking 11.15 percent of all opponents' shots while on the floor, the third-highest mark nationally.
Marshall broke his own school record for blocked shots this season with 109, becoming the first Zips' player to crack the century mark. He also became just the second MAC player to post 100-plus swats, breaking Ohio's Patrick Flomo's MAC single-season mark of 105 (2000-01).
In addition to owning the school and league single-season marks, Marshall is the all-time leader for both with 355 blocked shots, as well as the NCAA's active career leader. He owns every Akron blocked shots record and has come just two swats shy of breaking the MAC single-game mark of 11.
The second-consecutive Defensive POY award is the second postseason award for Marshall this week as he was named First-Team All-MAC on Monday.
The MAC Player of the Year & Coach of the Year awards will be announced on Wednesday.
The Zips will open the MAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play in the semifinals on Friday, March 15, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m