Can Shabazz Napier Do What Kemba Walker Did?

After Saturday’s upset over number two seed Villanova the Connecticut Huskies are getting compared to their 2010-2011 team led by Kemba Walker that eventually won the NCAA Tournament Championship. Under now retired head coach Jim Calhoun the UConn Huskies led by Junior Point Guard Walker won their last 11 games; five games in the Big East Tournament, and six in the NCAA Tournament.

During his Junior season Walker played in 41 games, averaged 37.6 minutes, 23.5 points, 4.5 assists, 5.4 rebounds while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 33 percent from behind the arc, and 81.9 percent from the free throw line. The 2013-2014 UConn Huskies have drawn some comparison to their most recent team to win the national championship thanks to Senior Point Guard Shabazz Napier.

Napier who was a Sophomore during UConn’s Championship run learned as a role player under Walker that year on what it takes to carry a team to a national championship win. With former UConn player Kevin Ollie as head coach(Second year) the Uconn Huskies look to become the first seed higher than six to win the NCAA National Championship since 1988(Kansas, 6 seed). Napier this season has played in(so far) 36 games, averaged 34.8 minutes, 17.8 points, 4.9 assists, 5.9 rebounds while shooting 42.5 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from behind the arc and 86.2 percent from the free throw line.

During the magical run by Walker and the UConn Huskies in those six games in the tournament Walker averaged 38.5 minutes with 23.5 points, 5.6 assists, 6 rebounds while shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 26.2 percent from behind the arc and 88.7 percent from the free throw line. With just two games played so far this tournament season Napier has averaged 33.5 minutes with 24.5 points, 4.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from behind the arc, and 87.5 percent from the free throw line.

With the upcoming matchup against number three seed Iowa State Cyclones the UConn Huskies will be relying on leader and Point Guard Shabazz Napier to lead them to the promise land just like Kemba Walker did in 2011.

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