There has been a mix of players that have won National DPOY. More often than not, the award has gone to shot-blocking, post players like Sylvia Fowles, Britney Griner (3), Steph Dolson & Elizabeth Williams. Last year it went to a lightning quick point guard who terrified opposing teams by picking their pockets and turning steals into a fast break layups at the other end of the court. We all know who that was. While there are many fine defensive players around the country, I have to believe that Gabby, who is possibly the most versatile and athletic defender in the history of WBB, is at the top of the list. Last night in the Huskies record tieing win, in addition to 11 pts & 7 assists, Gabby had 13 rbs, 4 blocks, 3 steals and one tremendous play diving into the bench to save the ball and start a fastbreak…when Uconn was up by 50. Gabby did all of that in exactly 21 minutes of playing time. Gabby is the only player currently in WBB that can defend any one of the other team’s starting 5, regardless of position. She has been assigned to defend opponent’s posts, wings and guards. The Huskies always try to take away your number one offensive threat. For other teams that involves exotic box & 1’s, triangle & 2’s, zones and help defenses. All that UConn has to do is put Gabby on your number one offensive threat, and as Geno likes to say, “If Gabby guards you, you’re guarded.” While Gabby leads the team in rebounds 8.3/g, steals 2.8/g and is 2nd in blocks 1.2/g, the real measure of her success is demonstrated by the abysmal shooting of the leading scorers that Gabby has locked down: Arike Ogunbowle (4/14 – 29%), Kelsey Mitchell (9/24 – 38%), Jessica Shepard (1/13 – 8%). More than any other NPOY award, the DPOY award is based in large measure on REPUTATION. The ND game did as much to establish Gabby on the national stage as anyone could have hoped for, and she has been spectacular ever since. While she needs to stay out of foul trouble, particularly against other team’s bigs, her high-energy, all-over-the-court, ball-hawking defense is unparalleled. Last night Geno described her as, “The Lawrence Taylor of women’s basketball.” He also said of opposing players, “You hope Gabby is not guarding you.” It is a requirement that Gabby earn the AAC DPOY to be considered for the NDPOY award. If she does, she will be the 5th Husky in a row to earn the conference DPOY following in the footsteps of Ferris, Dolson, Stokes & Mo. Right now Gabby is the odds on pick for the AAC DPOY and, IMO the NDPOY as well.