Malevy Leons: The Best Defender in College Basketball
Bradley basketball is coming off one of its most impressive seasons in a long time, becoming regular season champs for the 1st time in 27 years. BU also made it to the MVC tournament finals and the NIT tournament, so there’s a lot to be excited about. A key contributor to Bradley’s success this season was Malevy Leons... but who is he?
Malevy Leons is a 6’9 forward coming off a very successful senior year where he averaged 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block per game. The senior forward however did something this season that no college basketball player ever did. Leons, in 35 games, racked up 50 blocks, 50 steals, and 200 rebounds which lead to him becoming Missouri Valley defensive player of the year. Watching Leons play, he makes defensive plays look easy using his length to his advantage guarding 1-5 with ease. If 14 is on the floor you can expect him to be on the opposing team's best player and shutting them down.
What’s special about Leons is he isn’t all defensive, the kid knows how to shoot a basketball too. This season he had a 46.6 FG percentage which isn’t anything too impressive until you see he shootss 35 percent from behind the arch. Yes you heard me correctly, he’s can lock down your best player and still fill up the stat sheet when needed, while shooting 77 percent from the line if you decide fouling him is a good idea.
Leons is also a team player. Head coach Brian Wardle says it best by saying how “he goes right after it. He always wants to get better every day, work on the things he isn’t good at.” Leons knows his weaknesses and wants to benefit the team whenever he’s on the floor, so with his work ethic he knows he has to work hard if he wants to make it far.
Bradley has the best defensive player that no one knows about, but best believe when the fall rolls back around everyone will know the name Malevy Leons.