Duke sophomore Mark Williams has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.
The ACC leader in blocked shots at 2.90 per game, Williams is the conference’s only player listed among the 10 semifinalists. He ranks 11th nationally in blocks per game and in block percentage (12.6 percent), while his 87 total rejections are sixth-most in the NCAA. The 7-foot-1 center has 25 multi-block games this season, the third-most nationally and most among power conference players.
Williams has also been strong on the glass for the Blue Devils, averaging 7.0 rebounds overall and 7.6 in ACC play – the fourth-highest rate in the league. He has seven double-doubles on the year and has brought down 10+ boards in three of his last five contests.
The Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year has been awarded each season since 2017-18. Williams is the third Duke player to be named a semifinalist, following Zion Williamson (2019) and Tre Jones (2019, 2020).