South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock named semifinalist for National Defensive Player of the Year honor

South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso is one of 15 semifinalists for the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year Award.

South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball fans know already that they will be without Kamilla Cardoso's services this week. The Brazilian post player will be playing with her home country in Olympic qualifiers and will miss the next two games against Missouri and UConn at Colonial Life Arena.

In Cardoso, Dawn Staley's team will be without their leading scorer, the top rebounder on the squad, and a force inside defensively.

Because of that defense, #10 has been nominated as a semifinalist for a major award. It was announced this week that Kamilla Cardoso is one of fifteen semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Cardoso is joined on the DPOY list by LSU's Angel Reese and Aneesah Morrow, West Virginia's JJ Quinerly, Ohio State's Celeste Taylor, Wisconsin's Serah Williams, Notre Dame's Hannah Hidalgo, Kansas' Taiyanna Jackson, Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley, Kansas State's Ayoka Lee, Southern Cal's Rayah Marshall, Stanford's Cameron Brink, Vanderbilt's Jordyn Cambridge, Portland's Lucy Cochrane, and BYU's Lauren Gustin.

Cardoso finds herself on the list thanks to her impressive shot blocking ability. She ranks 8th nationally in rejections and 2nd in the SEC. She manages those numbers despite ceding a fair number of her blocks to teammate Ashlyn Watkins, who ranks 11th nationally and 3rd in the SEC in the statistic.

Speaking of Miss Swatkins, the South Carolina basketball sophomore should feel snubbed from the list of 15 semifinalists. Despite playing fewer minutes than every player ahead of her, there are only 10 players with more blocks in the country. Of all of the post players who are nominees for the Naismith DPOY award, only Jackson, Morrow, Reese, and Lee have more steals than Watkins, and just Cardoso, Brink, and Cochrane have more blocks.

Watkins and the Cardoso-less Gamecocks will host Missouri on Thursday night at 7:00 at Colonial Life Arena.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks to miss top scorer this week. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks to miss top scorer this week. dark