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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Nancy Mulkey Named to Naismith Defensive Player of Year Watch List
Posted: January 26, 2021 -- 9:47 a.m. CT
Rice senior center Nancy Mulkey is among 15 players recognized across the NCAA for the Naismith Women's Defensive Player of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Tuesday.
Mulkey, the two-time defending Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, currently ranks ninth in the NCAA in blocked shots per game (3.09) this season and is 11th in total blocked shots (34).
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Mulkey anchors a Rice defense that is surrendering a league-low 56.7 points per contest and is holding opponents to 33 percent shooting (11th in NCAA).
Mulkey's 267 career blocks rank third among all active Division I players while she also ranks fourth in career blocked shot average (2.90). Mulkey has blocked at least one shot in every game this season and has six games with three or more rejections. In addition, Mulkey is averaging a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game.
2020-21 Naismith Women's Defensive Player of the Year Watch List
|Aliyah Boston||South Carolina||Sophomore||Forward||SEC|
|Veronica Burton||Northwestern||Junior||Guard||Big Ten|
|Kate Cain||Nebraska||Senior||Center||Big Ten|
|Charli Collier||Texas||Junior||Forward / Center||Big 12|
|Elissa Cunane||NC State||Junior||Center||ACC|
|Arella Guirantes||Rutgers||Senior||Guard||Big Ten|
|N'dea Jones||Texas A&M||Senior||Forward||SEC|
|Natasha Mack||Oklahoma State||Senior||Forward||Big 12|
|Olivia Nelson-Ododa||UConn||Junior||Forward||Big East|
|DiDi Richards||Baylor||Senior||Guard||Big 12|
|Sage Stobbart||UC Davis||Junior||Post||Big West|
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