In what should come as a shock to absolutely nobody, Veronica Burton was announced on Tuesday as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season. Burton earned the accolade for a third-straight year after affirming her Backcourt Burglar moniker, leading all Division I players with 111 steals in the regular season.
Burton was also unanimously named to the conference’s All-Defensive squad and received First Team All-Big Ten honors from both the media and coaches. While her selection to the First Team was unanimous among the conference’s coaches, she was not a unanimous selection among the media despite finishing second among all players in the conference with 10.1 win shares. Forward Courtney Shaw was given an All-Big Ten honorable mention by both the coaches and media.
The awards cap off a remarkable senior regular season for Burton, who now hopes to lead the ‘Cats back to NCAA Tournament. They’ll have the opportunity to improve their resume in Indianapolis, where they’ll compete in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament later this week. Their first round contest, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, will see them seek revenge on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who upset them 74-68 in Minneapolis in February.
If they’re able to take down UMN, Burton and the Wildcats will then face the Iowa Hawkeyes — who, fronted by Big Ten Player of the Year winner Caitlin Clark, split their two regular season matchups with NU en route to a share of the conference title — on Friday evening.