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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren named to Naismith Defensive Player of Year watch list

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 27, 2022

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren rejects a shot by BYU forward Caleb Lohner, Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren rejects a shot by BYU forward Caleb Lohner, Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Chet Holmgren’s defensive prowess was recognized on Thursday when Gonzaga’s freshman was named to the midseason Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List.

Holmgren was one of 15 players named to the watch list and one of only three freshmen.

The 7-footer has been an elite defensive stopper and rim protector for the Bulldogs in what most anticipate will be his first and only college season. Holmgren, a projected lottery pick in the NBA draft, ranks seventh nationally with 3.4 blocks per game. He’s recorded at least four blocks in a game on nine occasions.

Holmgren, who’s been named the West Coast Conference’s Freshman of the Week six times , also ranks first in the conference at 8.53 rebounds per game. He’s averaging 13.6 points per game, making 61.8% of his field goals and 39.6% of his 3-pointers.

Joining Holmgren on the watch list are Auburn’s Walker Kessler, Richmond’s Jacob Gilyard, Kentucky’s Oscar Tschiebwe, Western Kentucky’s Jamarion Sharp, Arizona’s Christian Koloko, Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar, Duke’s Mark Williams, LSU’s Tari Eason, Iowa State’s Tyrese Hunter, Baylor’s Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler, Posh Alexander of St. John’s, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and San Diego State’s Nathan Mensah.

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