HoopsHype Shabazz Napier rumors

April 14, 2014 Updates

The Puerto Ricans, who had Napier practice with the national team in 2012, visited him earlier this year to keep the communications channels open. "We have done everything we could do and more," Puerto Rico coach Paco Olmos said to Primera Hora newspaper. "We have gone to the university in the middle of the regular season. We were with the player, with his mother, saw their environment at the university. We had very good communication. But then the time came for him to finish his college period, which has finished on top. Once taken in the (NBA) draft, whether first round, second round, which team selects them (potential Puerto Rican players), then we will know about their availability and their ability to be with us. Clearly, he has the doors open, we would like him to be part of the first group." FIBA.com

April 8, 2014 Updates

Napier played as a freshman on the team Walker led to the national championship in 2011. They are remarkably similar in physical stature – both 6-foot-1 and about 185 pounds. They both are extremely difficult to contain off the dribble in the pick-and-roll. So Napier has come to be thought of as “Kemba 2.0.” Napier finished off his college career with 22 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists against Kentucky. He made eight of 16 shots from the field and four of eight from 3-point range. Walker had the highest praise for him at Bobcats practice Tuesday. “There are always going to be comparisons, especially since I played with him. I’m happy for him,” Walker said. “He showed he’s the best point guard in college basketball right now. I don’t think there’s anybody better than him.” Charlotte Observer

Shabazz Napier led the Connecticut Huskies to the national championship, his second title in four years. He was fantastic during the tournament and led UConn in points, assists, rebounds and steals during the season. So where will Napier go in the 2014 NBA Draft? I've talked to a number of executives tonight who still view Napier as a second-round pick, even after his impressive title run. These executives aren't sure how Napier's game will translate to the next level. His size is a concern and teams aren't sure if he can be an efficient contributor in the NBA. The fact that he's turning 23 years old in July also hurts him, as teams are more likely to take a younger player with more upside rather than a four-year college player. Sulia

Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, who has led the Huskies to tonight's national championship game, said that there are times when he doesn't have money for food because student-athletes aren't paid for their services. Here is Napier's quote (which can be heard in the video above). "We're definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our university, but at the end of the day that doesn't cover everything," Napier said. "We do have hungry nights, where we don't have enough money to get food. Sometimes, money is needed. I don't think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for players because a lot of times guys don't know how to handle themselves with money. But I think Northwestern has an idea and we'll see where it goes. ... Like I said, sometimes there are hungry nights where I'm not able to eat, but I still have to play up to my capabilities. Sometimes it's that way. ... There's hungry nights where I go to bed starving. Something can change, something should change." Sulia

April 5, 2014 Updates

UConn’s Shabazz Napier has benefitted from Kevin Ollie’s coaching, according to one Western Conference GM. “Ollie runs all NBA plays for him and that’s going to help Napier when he comes into the league.” Napier is seen as a late first-round pick, but his lack of size (6-1) has some scouts worried. New York Daily News

March 31, 2014 Updates

Doug McDermott was a unanimous choice for the AP All-American First Team. McDermott is the first player to be on the All-American team in three straight seasons since Patrick Ewing and Wayman Tisdale in 1985. Shabazz Napier, Sean Kilpatrick and Russ Smith were also seniors named to the All-American First Team, while Jabari Parker was the fifth member. The second team consisted of Nick Johnson, Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, Melvin Ejim and T.J. Warren. RealGM

March 28, 2014 Updates
April 26, 2013 Updates
April 25, 2013 Updates

Will Shabazz Napier stay at UConn one more year or go pro? The suspense will last one more day. "Tomorrow, most definitely," Napier said before a workout at Gampel Pavilion Thursday. Hartford Courant

April 21, 2013 Updates

While UConn guard Shabazz Napier was considering leaving the Huskies for the NBA draft, the point guard is close to deciding to return to school for his senior season. Napier was likely a second-round pick or would have gone undrafted this year. A strong senior season could push Napier into the first round in June 2014 . Boston Globe

March 17, 2013 Updates

Bolting was an option for Napier, as it was for Alex Oriakhi, who left for Missouri, and Roscoe Smith, who chose UNLV. But Napier said he had no intention of leaving the school, and the Roxbury native turned in a first-team all-Big East campaign as a junior. The point guard is now pondering whether to declare for the NBA draft, which is expected to be the weakest in years, or return to finish out his Connecticut career in the revamped Big East. It won’t be an easy decision for Napier, who attended Charlestown High School and Lawrence Academy before signing with the Huskies. “It’s tough being at home, because I’m watching the game and can’t do nothing about it,” he said. “I can’t go out there and play, nothing can change, and that makes it tough, but I got myself mentally ready for this when I decided to stay at the university even though we had all these sanctions. “We wanted to send a message that even though we’re going through these huge obstacles, we still can overcome them by staying together.” Boston Globe

The future is uncertain for Napier, who turns 22 in July. After averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.4 rebounds, he’s projected as a second-round pick or perhaps could go undrafted. A banner senior year would improve his stock. “I actually talked to Coach Ollie the other day and told him I haven’t weighed any options,” Napier said. “My first option right now is to finish out school. I want to get my degree as quick as possible. I want to be ready for anything. “I know my mother wants me to get my degree, that’s why I took classes in the summer since my freshman year. If I enter the draft, I am not going to forget about that. “It is a tough decision. I am going to talk to Coach Ollie and Coach Calhoun, the right people, and make the right decision.” Boston Globe

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