South Carolina Basketball: Kamilla Cardoso named semifinalist for major awards

South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso was named a semifinalist for the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year honor.

South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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South Carolina basketball just finished up the first-ever back-to-back undefeated seasons in SEC history, their 7th regular season SEC title in 10 years, and they followed it up with their 8th SEC Tournament trophy in the last 10 years.

Arguably the best player on the team this season has been post player Kamilla Cardoso. Despite not having any starting experience coming into the year, Cardoso has become one of the top players in the country.

Cardoso's inside presence is formidable on offense as she leads the SEC in the field goal percentage, but she is also a force to be reckoned with one defense, leading the conference in blocked shots. In other words, Kamilla Cardoso is a game-changer on both ends of the court.

After winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and being selected to the 1st-Team All-SEC squad and the SEC All-Defensive team, Cardoso received some more good news on the awards front on Monday.

The John R. Wooden National Player of the Year and Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year races will include Kamilla Cardoso for at least a little longer.

Cardoso was announced as one of ten semifinalists for the National Defensive Player of the Year honors. She is joined as a semifinalist by Hannah Hidalgo (guard, Notre Dame Fighting Irish), Cameron Brink (forward, Stanford Cardinal), Jordyn Cambridge (guard, Vanderbilt Commodores), Angel Reese (forward, LSU Tigers), Celeste Taylor (guard, Duke Blue Devils), JJ Quinerly (guard, West Virginia), Taiyanna Jackson (forward, Kansas Jayhawks), Ayoka Lee (forward, Kansas State Wildcats), and Elizabeth Kitley (forward, Virginia Tech Hokies).

She was also named as one of fifteen players on the final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award. She is joined by Reese, Brink, Hidalgo, Kitley, Lee, Aneesah Morrow (forward, LSU Tigers), Paige Bueckers (guard, UConn Huskies), Caitlin Clark (guard, Iowa Hawkeyes), JuJu Watkins (guard, Southern Cal Trojans), Georgia Amoore (guard, Virginia Tech Hokies), Aaliyah Edwards (forward, UConn Huskies), Mackenzie Holmes (forward, Indiana Hoosiers), Kiki Iriafen (forward, Stanford Cardinal), and Alissa Pili (forward, Utah Utes).

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