Sharp Named to Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List

ATLANTA – WKU Hilltopper Basketball center Jamarion Sharp was named to the 2022 Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.

Sharp is one of just five players from outside the Power Five on the watch list for the award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive men’s player.

As of Wednesday, the 7-5 Hopkinsville, Ky., native led the nation in blocked shots per game and total blocks. Sharp is also tied for second in dunks (48) and third in block percentage (17.0%).

Since entering the starting lineup 15 games ago, the tallest player in the country is averaging 9.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 63 of 82 (76.8%) from the field. Sharp has more blocks by himself this season (83) than 292 Division I program have as a team, which is 83% of all D-I teams.

In addition to his defensive averages, Sharp is one of only 13 players across Division I to log a triple-double this season. His accomplishment on Nov. 24 against Alabama A&M was only the third in program history and the first with points, rebounds and blocks. It was just the 18th of its kind in all D-I men’s basketball since 2010.

Sharp joins former Hilltopper and current Philadelphia 76er Charles Bassey as the only WKU players to ever be named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List. Bassey was a semi-finalist for the honor in 2021.