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Atlanta Tipoff Club | January 22, 2019

College basketball: Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award midseason watch list

Tennessee's Grant Williams talks with Andy Katz

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the midseason watch list of players in contention for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Bona. The list includes 15 men’s college basketball players whose defensive efforts on the court have set them apart from the pack.

“Defense makes up a huge part of every win in college basketball, and we’re excited to recognize those who defend the hardwood,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “These players represent on-court toughness and a defensive tenacity that make them worthy of consideration for this award.”

The following is the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List presented by Bona:

FIRST NAME LAST NAME YEAR POSITION SCHOOL CONFERENCE
Tacko Fall Sr. C UCF AAC
Zion Williamson Fr. F Duke ACC
De'Andre Hunter So. G Virginia ACC
Barry Brown, Jr. Sr. G Kansas State Big 12
Matt Mooney Sr. G Texas Tech Big 12
Tariq Owens Sr. F Texas Tech Big 12
Bruno Fernando So. F Maryland Big Ten
Zavier Simpson Jr. G Michigan Big Ten
Jordan Murphy Sr. F Minnesota Big Ten
Ethan Happ Sr. F Wisconsin Big Ten
Kylor Kelley Jr. F Oregon State Pac-12
Matisse Thybulle Sr. G Washington Pac-12
Ashton Hagans Fr. G Kentucky SEC
Grant Williams Jr. F Tennessee SEC
Brandon Clarke Jr. F Gonzaga WCC

“Congratulations to these fantastic athletes for their hard-earned skills and impressive performance,” said Tiffany Baird, brand manager, Bona US. “It’s been an exciting season so far, and we’re looking forward to the coming months. At Bona, we’re proud to be the brand that protects and personalizes the floor of your favorite team, including 29 professional floors in the U.S. and countless collegiate and premium fitness facility wood gym floors worldwide.”

With seven conferences represented on the list, the Big Ten leads defensively with four players chosen, and close behind with three players represented is the Big 12, whose Jevon Carter of West Virginia won the inaugural award. Texas Tech is the only team to have two players included on the list. Players not on the Midseason Watch List are still eligible to be selected as award semifinalists, which will be announced in February.

MORE: Printable 2019 NCAA March Madness bracket