Center Aedan Using ’24 was selected as the 2024 University Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 1.2 blocks per game and 1.2 steals per game, ranking seventh and eighth in the entire conference, respectively, alongside 6.2 rebounds per game, which ranks eleventh.

Using, whose favorite National Basketball Association player is Dirk Nowitzki, put up a season befitting the skilled German big man, as he led the Judges in steals, blocks, rebounds and assists per game while also notching 5.8 points per game and playing in all 25 contests. Using becomes the first member of the men’s basketball team to lead the Judges in four or more statistical categories in over a decade

“Aedan had overcome a lot of adversity to get to where he was this season,” head coach Jean Bain told Brandeis Athletics. “He worked extremely hard, first to come back from his injury, and then on and off the court, not just on his own game, but with other guys to help them get better. I'm really happy for him.”

Using’s defensive player of the year campaign was a triumphant return after missing the entirety of the 2022-2023 season.

“I came into this season coming off a serious knee injury that required two knee surgeries and took me out for about 16 months from basketball,” Using told The Justice. “There were times where I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to play again.”

Determined to make every game count, Using was a versatile and efficient contributor in many of the Judges’ contests. Whether it was scoring 15 points in a 20-point comeback win at Rochester University or 7 assists, 2 blocks, and 4 steals against Carnegie-Mellon University, his all-around game propelled the men’s team to wins and Using to UAA recognition.

“It’s an award he definitely deserved,” Bain reinforced. 

The men’s team had the fewest points allowed per game in their conference, 65.8, alongside leading the UAA in turnovers forced per game at 14.7. The statistic of 65.8 points allowed per game ranked 34th in Division III Men’s College Basketball.

“I won defensive player of the year but I was just a piece of one of the better defensive teams in the country,” said Using. “The coaches put together excellent game plans each and every game and as a team we did a great job of executing and focusing on that end of the court.”

Playmaking complemented Using’s defensive success. He averaged 2.8 assists per game, seventh best in the conference. His 2.09 assist to turnover ratio, a mark of how efficiently a player records assists, led the team and was the highest recorded for the Judges since 2016. It also ranks third in the conference and 61st among Division III men’s basketball players; he is the only Center to rank in the top 100 for assist to turnover ratio. 

“I went into each and every game as if it were my last because I know now that I am never going to take playing basketball for granted again,” Using said in a summary of his approach to this season. 

The Judges went 14-11 for the season and 5-9 in conference play in 2023-2024, Using’s final year, improving from their 12-13 record last year.