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Brandon Clarke named Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist

He is one of 10 players to make the cut.

NCAA Basketball: San Diego at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga Bulldogs junior forward Brandon Clarke was named as one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

Clarke is one of the premier ring protectors in college basketball this season. His 82 total blocks rank him third in the nation, and his 3.0 blocks per game are also the third-best mark in college. He has the fifth highest defensive rating in college, and his defensive box plus/minus is the fourth best mark in the country.

Consistently, Clarke is the one of the top defenders in the country, and having the best block of the season isn’t hurting his cause.

Clarke should be considered one of the front runners in the award. Of the nominees, Tariq Owens leads in defensive rating by a mere 0.4, and Clarke is the best shot blocker of all the individuals listed. Matisse Thybulle could also sneak thanks to his sneaky hands. Thybulle leads the NCAA with 3.4 steals per game.

Here are the other semifinalists:

  • Barry Brown Jr., Kansas State
  • Ashton Hagans, Kentucky
  • De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
  • Tre Jones, Duke
  • Tariq Owens, Texas Tech
  • Zavier Simpson, Michigan
  • Matisse Thybulle, Washington
  • Grant Williams, Tennessee
  • Zion Williamson, Duke