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Chet Holmgren named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist

The Gonzaga freshman is one of 10 players to make the cut.

Northern Arizona v Gonzaga Photo by Robert Johnson/Getty Images

Gonzaga Bulldogs freshman Chet Holmgren has been named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

Holmgren is averaging 9.7 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game this season. His 95 total blocks rank fourth-best in the NCAA, and his 215 defensive rebounds rank 12th.

On top of those hard statistics, Holmgren has been a game changer down low. His defensive rating of 77.7 is the highest mark in college hoops and his defensive box plus/minus of 7.4 is second in the nation.

In many years, those sorts of stats would make it his award to lose, but this year is unlike many years in basketball. Walker Kessler has been a ridiculous blocking machine, and his block percentage of 20.1 tops all of college hoops and will blow past Hassan Whiteside’s 18.79 percent for the highest mark since in over 30 years.

It has been a stellar year so far for the young big man in what will most likely be his only year in college hoops. With the regular season over and March Madness around the corner, Holmgren is poised to showcase his talents to a much wider range of college basketball viewers. And well, that should be rather fun for everyone to see.