Shabazz Napier, Omar Calhoun Represent UConn on Big East All-Star Teams

by Categorized: Omar Calhoun, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball
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Shabazz Napier, who led UConn in scoring and led the Huskies in many other ways as well, was named to the All-Big East first team. The league announced its All-Star teams on Sunday morning.

Napier averaged 17.1 points per game, but was most remarkable in UConn’s seven overtime games. In nine OT sessions, 45 minutes, he scored 55 points. Twice, he scored 11 in overtime sessions to lead the Huskies in wins over South Florida and Cincinnati.

He was UConn’s leading rebounder for much of the season, and finished with a 4.4 average. He had 129 assists, vs. 67 turnovers and 56 steals in 28 games. In two games Napier missed, or was playing through injuries, it was most evident how valuable he was to his team.

Napier returned to the lineup Saturday for the season finale, after missing two games with a sprained right foot, and scored 16 points as the Huskies beat Providence, 63-59, in OT to finish 20-10.

Freshman Omar Calhoun represented UConn on the All-Rookie team.

Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown was a unanimous selection to the first team and he is the favorite to win Player of the Year honors when the award is announced Tuesday. Gorgui Dieng and Russ Smith of Louisville, Bryce Cotton on Providence and Jack Cooley of Notre Dame were the other first teamers.

Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati, Vander Blue of Marquette, Jerian Grant of Notre Dame, Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. Fair, both of Syracuse, were on t he second team.

Markel Starks of Georgetown, Peyton Siva of Louisville, Tray Woodall of Pittsburgh, Brandon Triche of Syracuse and JayVaughn Pinkston of Villanova were the third team.

Honorable mentions were Davante Gardner of Marquette, Kadeem Batts of Providence, JaKarr Sampson of St. John’s and Fuquan Edwin of Seton Hall.

Calhoun was hampered the last several games, and missed the final game, with a sprained wrist, but averaged 11.1 points per game. He started each of UConn’s first 29 games.

DeVauntes Smith-Rivera of Georgetown, Steven Adams of Pitt, Ryan Arcidiacono of Villanova, Sampson and Chris Obekpa of St. John’s were also on the All-Rookie team.

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12 thoughts on “Shabazz Napier, Omar Calhoun Represent UConn on Big East All-Star Teams

  1. Mike McManus

    Dom, this doesn’t relate to this particular blog but why near the end of the season does the media seem to focus on questioning every player who had a good year about his plans to enter the NBA draft? I guess that’s a part of your job but I find it annoying and oftentimes so premature. Why add speculation to the process and suggest to players that they’re worthy of moving on? I saw a quote from Boatright stating that he’ll need to talk it over with his parents and friends and we always read where the decision may depend on the family’s needs financially. From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen from Ryan, he’s terribly premature in even considering such a move. I think all of the speculation on the part of the press only breeds a false sense of worth; if they’re really concerned about a player’s future, encourage him to take advantage of that scholarship and quality education while improving his game and furthering his chances to play professionally. The same applies to Daniels; yes, he came on strong and really became a force toward the end of the season, but prior to that he was lackadaisical and his effort was on and off. I would think that he has much more to offer as an athlete and needs to demonstrate that he can perform at a high level on a daily basis. As for Shabazz, he had a great year and proved that he can be a leader but he’s not yet in Kemba’s class and needs to demonstrate that he can play at a high level for entire games and not just when he feels motivated to hit the gas pedal.

    1. TAD

      I agree entirely. Why put the player in that uncomfortable position of answering that question. Its especially irritating when they ask a player who may be a terrific college player but has no business even considering the jumb unless financial or academic issues make it impossible for him to stay.

      1. LateTateGreat

        Hood, you made the All-Troll second team. You gave it a spirited effort but I had to ding you a few points for ripping UCONN for their overtime “loss” against Cincy on February 21st (final score UCONN 73-66). Actually watching the team you anonymously hate on is trolling 101. Can’t phone that in. Work hard in the offseason and I expect you to be a unanimous first team selection next year.

        1. bmo22

          HA! Great comment, LateTate. Hood needs to study posts of some of the all-time great trolls that can be found on the UConn boards on ESPN. I expect a better performance from Hood next season. When it comes to trolling, Hood takes the escalator.

  2. UCONNFB

    Well deserved recognition for both players. Surprised Daniels was not on the list, at least Honorable Mention. Guess the reality is he only played like an All-Conference player for the last 5 or 6 games.
    The problem with these end of season honors is that guys like Napier begin to hear from the people close to them “Hey, what else do you have to prove in college? Won a National Championship. Made All-Conference. Time to go pro”. I only hope someone who he trusts can break this down for him that there are probably 2 dozen guys playing his position who will make themselves eligible for the NBA draft (college, foreign, HS) who will have characteristics that make them more attractive to GM’s.
    This kid can only benefit from one more year in college.
    As far as Boatright and/or Daniels going pro; both need another solid year of NCAA performance to get on a draft board. No GM is drafting on potential anymore.

  3. ray-ray

    great award for bazz—-calhoun will be a good player,but im not sold on all-rookie team,i thought his injury took him off consideration.

  4. TZToronto

    Looking at the various mock NBA drafts, I don’t see Napier, Boatright, or Daniels anywhere. Given the quality of Boatright’s game at present (improving), Daniels late blooming (big upside but not consistent), and Napier’s injury, I don’t see any sort of upsurge in interest coming between now and the draft. Napier could try to work his way into draft consideration, but his injury would hamper his efforts. No, it would be better for all three to stick around for another year than to not even get a phone call on the night of the draft. Europe’s nice, but it’s not the NBA.

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