Nearly every offensive feat a college basketball player can accomplish, for good or for ill, can be quantified on the scoresheet. Shots missed and made, dimes dropped, turnovers committed—they all have their own column.
Defensive stops are a bit harder to enumerate. Unless a player records a steal, block or defensive rebound—which is just as valid as a steal, since both by definition end the opposing team's possession—a stop is often treated as a team accomplishment more than an individual one.
Still, some players draw plenty of notice for their defensive playmaking abilities. Those are the players we come to praise in this piece. After all, scoring points is a wonderful pursuit, but keeping them off the other team's side of the scoreboard is just as essential to winning.
Some of our stoppers are dangerous on-ball defenders and some protect the rim. Others are capable of combining one or both of these skills with a nose for the defensive glass. All are primary keys to their teams' defensive efforts in the 2014-15 season.
Note: Only returning players were considered for this piece, so don't ask where Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson are.
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All stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
School records courtesy of individual institutions' media guides.