All eyes are on USC big man Evan Mobley, as his strong play continues to gain national recognition. Mobley was named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list Thursday morning as his strong interior defense has caught all of college basketball's eyes. The 7-footer is the only player from the Pac-12 and the only freshman to make the list, as his impressive resume continues to grow.
Mobley is one of 15 players that were selected to the list, and is also just one of three underclassmen up for the award. The freshman is averaging 16.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game.
Mobley has blocked 44 shots this season, which is tied for the fifth-most in the country. His 129 rebounds and block total both lead all Pac-12 players.
Mobley has also put up elite numbers in several advanced statistical categories. The 19-year-old has an astonishing 17.1% defensive rebound percentage to go along with a remarkable 9.4% block percentage.
These percentages are gathered based on the amount of defensive boards Mobley grabbed and the amount of blocks he swats away on opponents shots while on the floor. He also has a defensive win share of 1.3 and a total of 3.3 wins contributed to his team from his play alone.
Mobley's ability to use his quickness to defend guards on the perimeter, utilizing his long arms and vertical to effect shots in the paint has been the main reason why Andy Enfield's team has thrived on the defensive side of the ball.
The Trojans ability to stifle opposing offenses while being one of the best teams to crash the boards has given USC a 12-3 record so far this year.
Mobley continues to add to his 2020-21 accolades which includes being named to the Wooden Award Midseason Watch List, the 2021 NABC Player of the Year Watch List, the 2021 Naismith Trophy Watch List, and the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Watch List.
He has also been named to the 2020-21 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Preseason Media All-Conference First Team and he is a four-time selection as Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
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