No surprise here: Shabazz Napier is the American Athletic Conference player of the week for the third time. He has made the honor roll six times. Have to believe his case for player of the year is pretty strong, based on that consistency.
To review: Napier scored 27 points in the win over Temple and 26, 20 in the second half, in the win at Rutgers. He had 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in the two games, and shot 50 percent from the floor (take out the first half vs. Rutgers and he was 15 for 26). His scoring has really picked up lately, with 100 points in four games against Memphis, Louisville, Temple and Rutgers.
Ben Moore of SMU was rookie of the week. The honor roll this week included Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati, Shaq Goodwin of Memphis, Markus Kennedy of SMU and Dalton Pepper of Temple.
The weakness of the AAC, though, began costing UConn in the RPI rankings this week. Despite the two wins, the Huskies dropped from 29th to 38th in the updated rankings released by the NCAA on Monday.
The margin for error from here on out is small; UConn needs to keep cleaning up on the bottom half of the conference, and to get a good seed they’ll need two or three more wins in the five games left against Cincy (24th), Louisville (29th) , Memphis (33rd) and SMU (41st).
We’ll see where UConn ranks when the AP and USA Today polls come out this afternoon.