Beal, Boston Named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalists
COLUMBIA, S.C. – SEC Champion South Carolina women’s basketball seniors Brea Beal and Aliyah Boston are among the 10 semifinalists for Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Monday. Boston became the first Gamecock to win the award last season, and Beal is making her debut on the list this season.
Beal has long been the unsung centerpiece of a Gamecock defense that ranks among the stingiest in the nation annually. According to Her Hoop Stats, she in the top 25 in player defensive rating and defensive win shares per 40 minutes. Beal ranks among the SEC’s top 15 in blocked shots, swatting 1.1 per game, including three games of three or more, highlighted by a career-high five against South Dakota State (Dec. 15). She is third on the team in rebounding (4.2 per game) with a majority of those coming on the defensive end. According to Synergy has allowed just 4.1 points per game on 21.6 percent field goal shooting.
Boston is the three-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year and continues to dominate on that end of the court. According to Her Hoop Stats, she is fifth in the country in player defensive rating and defensive win shares per 40 minutes – both numbers that lead the SEC. Her 2.0 blocks per game are third in the SEC overall, and she leads the SEC with 2.25 blocks per conference game. Boston is the SEC’s active blocked shots leader with 315 in her career, which ranks eighth in league history. Second in the SEC in rebounding average (9.72), 6.21 of those come on the defensive end.
Four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year will be named on Mar. 13 and the winner crowned on Mar. 29.
SEC Champion and No. 1/1 South Carolina (29-0, 16-0 SEC) is back in action on Fri., Mar. 3, in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in Greenville, S.C, facing either No. 8-seed Arkansas or No. 9-seed Missouri. Tipoff is set for noon on SEC Network.
Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for more information on the 2022-23 season.
2023 Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalists
Brea Beal, South Carolina
Aliyah Boston, Sr., F, South Carolina
Cameron Brink, Stanford
Brooke Flowers, Saint Louis
Taiyanna Jackson, Kansas
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech
Rayah Marshall, Southern Cal
Aneesah Morrow, DePaul
Angel Reese, LSU
Celeste Taylor, Duke
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