Egwu Finalist for Lefty Driesell Award

CHAMPAIGN ( -- Fighting Illini senior Nnanna Egwu is a finalist for the 2015 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year. Egwu is one of 26 players - and the lone representative from the Big Ten - named to the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team. The winner of the award will be announced April 3 at the Awards Banquet in Indianapolis.

Known for his versatility and ability to guard both the rim and on the perimeter, Egwu solidified his reputation as one of the top frontcourt defenders in college basketball. He earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team after ranking third in the league in blocked shots (1.8 bpg), seventh in steals (1.3 spg) and 11th in rebounding (6.3 rpg) during conference play. He registered 59 blocks as a senior, the fourth-best single-season total in Illini history.

Egwu became Illinois' all-time shot-blocking leader on Jan. 21, recording his 178th career rejection to break the former UI record of 177 blocks by Deon Thomas. Egwu finished his career with a total of 201 blocks, ranking 22nd on the active NCAA list.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Darion Atkins, Virginia
Gary Bell Jr., Gonzaga
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Willie Cauley-Stien, Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Kyle Collinsworth, BYU
Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
Demarcus Daniels, North Florida
Nnanna Egwu, Illinois
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Jelani Hewitt, Georgia Southern
Anthony Hickey, Oklahoma State
Brice Johnson, North Carolina
Reggie Lynch, Illinois State
T.J. McConnell, Arizona
Jordan Mickey, LSU
Shonn Miller, Cornell
Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming
Josh Richardson, Tennessee
Richard Ross, Old Dominion
Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga
Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
Julian Washburn, UTEP
Briante Weber, VCU
Jay Wright, UL-Lafayette

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