Duke sophomore Mark Williams has been named to the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.
Williams, who currently leads the ACC and ranks eighth nationally with 3.26 blocks per game, is the conference’s only player on the 15-member watch list. The 7-foot-1 center has multiple blocks in 16 of 19 games this season, and the 14.7 percent of opponents’ shots that he has swatted is seventh-best in the NCAA.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native’s defensive prowess has been on full display in ACC games, as he is averaging 3.6 blocks and 5.6 defensive rebounds against conference opponents. Each of his 10 boards against Clemson on Tuesday night came on the defensive end. He has four double-doubles this season, including three in the last seven contests.
The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year has been awarded each season since 2017-18.