MSU’s Shakeel Moore named to Naismith Defensive Player Of The Year Watch List
by Matt Dunaway, Director/Communications
ATLANTA, Georgia – An honor given annually to the nation’s best defensive player, Shakeel Moore has been selected to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List announced Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
The award is in its sixth season. Previous winners include Jevon Carter (West Virginia, 2017-18), Matisse Thybulle (Washington, 2018-19), Marcus Garrett (Kansas, 2019-20), Davion Mitchell (Baylor, 2020-21) and Walker Kessler (Auburn, 2021-22).
Moore is one of three SEC players joining Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe and Tennessee’s Zakai Zeigler and one of 15 players nationally on the watch list.
The Bulldogs are one of the nation’s top defensive units under first-year coach Chris Jans. State ranks inside the nation’s top 15 in six categories which include steal percentage (14.8 – 3rd), scoring defense (58.7 – 7th), steals per game (9.7 – 8th), adjusted defensive efficiency (90.7 – 11th), field goal percentage defense (38.9 – 12th) and turnover percentage (23.9 – 13th).
Individually, Moore is third nationally with a 5.95 steal percentage according to KenPom. He has ranked inside the SEC’s top 5 and NCAA’s top 25 in steals per game all season. The North Carolina native has recorded multiple steals in 11 of 18 outings highlighted by four or more steals on five occasions.
2022-23 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List
Chase Audige, Northwestern
Leaky Black, North Carolina
Moussa Cisse, Oklahoma State
Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Zach Edey, Purdue
Andre Jackson Jr., Connecticut
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton
Caleb McConnell, Rutgers
Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas
Shakeel Moore, Mississippi State
Marcus Sasser, Houston
Jamarion Sharp, Western Kentucky
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
Zakai Zeigler, Tennesee