Friday, February 22, 2013
Napier shines in overtimes
Connecticut's Shabazz Napier has had some of his most productive games this season when the Huskies go to overtime. Napier played all 45 minutes of Thursday night's 73-66 overtime victory against Cincinnati, notching 11 of his game-high 27 points in the extra period.
As ESPN Stats and Info's Jeremy Lundblad notes, "UConn is now 4-1 in overtime games, and in those overtimes, Napier is 8-for-12 from 3-point range." He's posted offensive ratings of 172 (South Florida on 1/31), 131 (Providence on 2/3), and 134 (Cincinnati last night) in Connecticut's three Big East overtime wins, eye-popping numbers even for a guard like him.
In the February 3rd overtime victory over Providence, Napier logged 43 minutes and saw the floor for 44 minutes in the overtime loss to Marquette on New Year's Day. When the games are tight, Coach Kevin Ollie has him out on the court. In addition to running the offense throughout the game, it's these numbers that make it seem like Napier is especially present at the end of games. It's a shame the Huskies are ineligible for the postseason this year because Napier's late-game play would be something to watch in the single-elimination days of March.