January 27, 2021 

15 players to watch for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Award

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Among the list are block leader Natasha Mack and steal leader Chasity Patterson

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The Naismith Trophy has released a watch list of 15 players for the women’s Defensive Player of the Year. Baylor’s DiDi Richards earned the honor last year and is back on the list again in 2021.

The Naismith College Defensive Player of the Year award is “presented annually to the most outstanding men’s and women’s defensive basketball player who achieves tremendous on-court success.”

Among the defensive stars on the list are Oklahoma State’s Natasha Mack and Kentucky’s Chasity Patterson. Mack leads the country in blocks with 59 and is deflecting about 3.93 shots per game (No. 2). Patterson leads the country in steals (60) and is averaging four steals per game.

Texas forward/center Charli Collier also made the cut. Collier was a vital piece on the court in last week’s victories over TCU (71-54) and No. 24 Iowa State (70-59). Against TCU, she grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, becoming only the fifth player to record 20-plus rebounds in a game. She followed it up against Iowa State with 19 rebounds and three blocked shots. Collier also averaged 22.5 points over the pair of games.

Collier was named to this week’s Starting Five on NCAA.com after her standout performance for Texas.

Here are all the players named to the award’s 2021 midseason team.

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