Gonzaga Bulldogs shot blocking machine Brandon Clarke is one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, joining Matisse Thybulle, De’Andre Hunter, and Zion Williamson.
Clarke obliterated Gonzaga’s single season block record, and his 102 blocks on the year are the third-most in the country, alongside his 3.1 blocks per game. His 102 blocks rank second in WCC history for most in a single season, 12 behind the record.
As much as we’d like to think this is Clarke’s award to take home, the competition will be rather tough. Thybulle leads the NCAA in steals per game with 3.5. Hunter is the face of one of the top defenses in the nation, and Williamson is the face of all of college basketball so let’s just nominate him for every single award.
Clarke, who has been left out of the rest of the Player of the Year chatter, should get this award just by somehow being the most underrated phenomenally good player in college basketball, but we’ll have to wait and see.