Shabazz Napier captured American Athletic Conference player of the week honors for the fourth time this season.
As usual, it was little surprise. Though Napier had little more than a cameo in UConn’s 43-point rout of South Florida, he was all over the Huskies overtime win over Memphis on Saturday, scoring 19 points in the second half, 34 total in the 86-81 overtime win.
On the polling front, UConn moved up three slots to No. 21 in the AP writers’ poll, and broke back into the USA Today/Coaches poll, also at No. 21. They’d been out of the coaches’ rankings since early January.
Southern Methodist, with its loss to Temple, dropped out of the rankings, so the AAC has four in the top 25. The complete polls are here.
The Huskies moved up five slots in RPI, in the update released by the NCAA on Monday. UConn was 25th. They’re in good shape there.
By the way, UCF’s Justin McBride followed up that break-out against UConn with a couple of good games last week and was the AAC’s rookie of the week.
Napier had 41 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, shooting 52 percent from the floor in t he two games. Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick, who had won the player of the week the previous two weeks, was in the honor roll. He scored 28 points against Houston.
Here’s a look at Napier, Kilpatrick and Louisville’s Russ Smith, with regard to the league’s player of the year award:
Scoring: Kilpatrick 20.1, Napier 18.0, Smith 17.7
Scoring in AAC games: Kilpatrick 21.2, Napier, 20.5, Smith 18.6
Assists: Napier 5.5. Smith 4.6, Kilpatrick 2.7,
Assists in AAC games: Napier 5.2, Smith 4.3, Kilpatrick 2.6
Rebounds: Napier 5.8, Kilpatrick, 4.5, Smith 3.3
Rebounding in AAC games Napier 5.3, Kilpatrick 4.8, Smith 3.6
Steals: Napier 47, Smith 45, Kilpatrick 36.