Those who create all-defensive teams and crown defensive players of the year love steals and blocks. Leading the Pac-12 in steals with 2.6 per game has landed Arizona’s Helena Pueyo on the Naismith Women’s College Defensive Player of the Year watch list.
Pueyo is one of 15 players named to the list, three of whom come from the Pac-12. Cameron Brink of Stanford and Rayah Marshall of USC join her.
Pueyo is one of four Wildcats to place in the top six in the Pac-12 for steals per game. She’s followed by Shaina Pellington at fifth with 1.9. Esmery Martinez and Lauren Fields are tied for sixth with 1.8 per game.
Pueyo has reached 50 steals in just 19 games this year. Last year, she had 50 all season in 29 games. She also has 15 blocks in those 19 games, placing her at 17th in the Pac-12 and first for Arizona. She finished with 17 last season.