The Big Ten was well represented on the watch list released for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

Northwestern guard Chase Audige, Purdue center Zach Edey, Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and Rutgers guard Caleb McConnell made the list of 15 players that was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday. The watch list will shrink to 10 national semifinalists on Feb. 28 and 4 finalists on March 14. The winner will be announced on April 2.

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Audige leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in steals per game (2.71). His 130 steals in a Northwestern uniform rank eighth in school history, 11 behind Craig Moore.

Edey has led a Boilermaker defense that ranks in the nation’s top 30 in defensive efficiency (16th), scoring defense (11th), field goal percentage defense (29th) and rebound margin (1st). The Boilermakers are allowing 59.8 points per game, the lowest average for an opponent since the 2008-09 season (59.8 points per game).

Jackson-Davis averages 3.2 blocks per contest, which ranks third in the country and first among high-major players. He’s the only player under 6-foot-10 to rank in the top 15, and he’s seventh nationally with 55 total blocked shots this season.

McConnell is averaging 2.3 steals-per-game with 36 steals, and has been the anchor of the top defensive team in the Big Ten, as Rutgers has allowed just 57.0 points per game, which is 4th in the nation.