Kessler wins Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year, declares for NBA Draft

Feb 12, 2022; Auburn, AL, USA; Walker Kessler (13) goes up for a shot during the game between...
Feb 12, 2022; Auburn, AL, USA; Walker Kessler (13) goes up for a shot during the game between Auburn and Texas A&M at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jacob Taylor/AU Athletics(Jacob Taylor | Jacob Taylor/AU Athletics)
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 12:23 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 3, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Auburn center Walker Kessler has been named the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year, given to the top defender in college basketball. Kessler also announced that he will declare for the 2022 NBA Draft.

The sophomore averaged just over one steal a game and more than four and a half blocks per game in his first season with the Tigers. Kessler led the SEC in blocked shots per game, and finished second in the county in blocks per game.

Kessler finished the season as a member of the All-SEC First Team, as well as a third team All-American. He is the first Auburn men’s basketball player to win this award.

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