As you dig into the advanced stats, it certainly supports the notion that Duke’s Javin Delaurier is college basketballs best defender, it’s just that having watched Duke play last year, naturally all eyes went toward Zion Williams, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. In this piece, we want to take a look at what Javin Delaurier did on the defensive end of the floor. Coming out of high school, Phenom Hoops’ Jamie Shaw compared Javin Delaurier to Zach Auguste (Notre Dame) and Amile Jefferson (Duke), high praise comparing the Top 50 prospect to a couple of guys who won a lot of games in college and both still playing professional basketball.

In college, Delaurier has taken his game to an entirely new level, especially on the defensive end of the floor. The impressive numbers start with Delaurier being the only player in college basketball, since the 2010-11 season, to shoot 70% from the field, with a Defensive Rating less than 90, a Defensive Box Plus/Minus greater than 8.4 in 615 or more minutes played.

Looking more in depth at the very telling stat, Defensive Box Plus Minus, which is a box score estimate of the defensive points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player, translated to an average team, Delaurier is the second leading returning player (behind Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman) who played in more that 600 minutes last season.

Delaurier’s motor jumps off the page immediately, to go along with his length and athleticism. His toughness shines, looking at his stats from last season, per 100 possessions, Delaurier averaged 14.7 rebounds to go along with 4.4 blocks and 2.9 steals per game. In fact, Delaurier was one of only two players (James Dickey at UNC-Greensboro the other) who played 600+ minutes in NCAA Division 1 basketball last season and had a block percentage over 7.5, a steal percentage of 2.5 and an offensive rebound percentage over 11.5 (he was the only player in the ACC to do so).

So his toughness on the glass, especially the offensive end, leads to extra possessions. But what is really en vogue in basketball these days is defensive switchability. As you can see, in current NCAA Division 1, by all metrics, not many are doing what Delaurier is. However, en vogue with today’s game, Delaurier has the length, he has the quick twitch lateral movement, he has the straight line explosion and he has the down and dirty motor and want to get the job done. On top of it all, Delaurier is a highly intelligent student as he was being heavily recruited by the likes of Harvard and Princeton out of high school, as a Top 50 type prospect.

So let’s take a look back at who else has put up similar numbers to Delaurier since the 2009-2010 season. Setting the sample size at players who have played 600+ minutes for the season, carrying a block percentage more than 7.5, a steal percentage more than 2.5 and a defensive rating less than 90 is a list of 19 players. The names of the players on the list is a long line of draft picks, with the likes Anthony Davis, Jordan Bell, Mattise Thybulle, Nerlens Noel, Gorgui Dieng and Kenneth Faried (twice) having had similar seasons.

By any standard, by any metric out there, Javin Delaurier is a high level defender and in looking through the numbers there are not many (if any) who can compare with Delaurier in college basketball, especially those standing 6’10” and weighing in at 235 pounds.