On Friday afternoon, UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier made the decision to return to school for his senior season. Napier made his decision public on Friday and its a choice that should really come as no surprise.
Napier had a productive junior season, adding to a productive career in Storrs, Connecticut, but after a season in which the Huskies could not qualify for the NCAA Tournament due to low APR scores, Napier will now be able to gear up for one more run with his teammates — most notably, his back court mates Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun. Boatright, along with forward DeAndre Daniels, have also made their intentions public about returning next season.
UConn was one of the few members of the Big East Conference to not make a move in realignment, so by default they will join the newly-named American Athletic Conference next season. With that being said, there shouldn’t be any doubt that UConn, who is now eligible for the postseason in 2013-14, can’t win the league in its first season of existence.
Just this past season, Napier averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. UConn finished the year at 20-10 overall, so there’s no doubt that they can’t improve on that mark and make a case for the NCAA Tournament in 2014. With Napier back in the fold, the Huskies are all that more dangerous, but despite word just breaking on Friday afternoon, his NBA Draft hype was never through the roof here in 2013.
Napier is making a strong decision, one that benefits him and the Huskies’ expectations for next season.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS