STORRS, Conn. (March 10, 2013) --- UConn junior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.), who led the Huskies to a 20-win season and 10 BIG EAST Conference victories, was named to the All-BIG EAST first team, announced Sunday by the league.
Freshman guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was also honored with a postseason award, named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
The all-league teams are selected by a vote of the 15 league coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Napier becomes the 16th UConn player to earn All-BIG EAST first team honors, and it is the 21st time a Husky has been named to the first team (Corny Thompson, Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, and Emeka Okafor were two-time picks). Calhoun is the 27th Husky to be named to the All-Rookie Team.
“I am extremely proud of Shabazz and very happy that he’s been recognized by the BIG EAST coaches for the way he played this season,” UConn Coach Kevin Ollie said. “As I said after Saturday’s game, he has evolved as a young man and become a leader. He’s a great person and one of the smartest players I’ve been around.”
Napier, a 6-1 guard, led UConn in scoring (17.1 ppg) and assists (4.6 apg) and was the Huskies’ second-leading rebounder (4.4 rpg). He shot 44.1 percent overall and was UConn’s top long range threat, hitting 39.8 percent from three-point range. He also shot 81.9 percent from the foul line.
In BIG EAST games, Napier ranked third in the league in scoring (17.5), second in minutes played (38.50), second in three-pointers made (2.81), seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.413), sixth in assists (5.25), and fifth in steals (1.81).
The Huskies played in a school-record seven overtime games this season, which is where Napier, a team captain, was at his best. In nine overtime periods (two double-overtime games), he played all 45 minutes, scoring 55 points and hitting 12-of-21 shots overall (.571), 10-of-16 from three-point range (.625), and 21-of-24 from the foul line (.875). His 55 points constituted 51.4 percent of all UConn’s points scored in overtime. The Huskies went 5-2 in overtime games.
Perhaps nothing exemplified Napier’s value more, however, than Saturday’s season finale against Providence. Forced to sit out the Huskies’ previous two games because of an injured foot, the only two games he’s missed in his UConn career, Napier ignored the discomfort and played 44 minutes, scoring 16 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, handing out 4 assists, and notching 4 steals as the Huskies topped the Friars, 63-59 in overtime to reach the coveted 20-win plateau.
Calhoun, a 6-5 guard, started every game for UConn this season until a sprained right wrist forced him to sit out the season finale. He finished fourth on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (3.9 rpg) and was second on the team (with Ryan Boatright) in three-pointers made (43).
The Huskies finished with a 20-10 overall record, their 21st season of 20 wins or more in the past 26 years.
The complete list of All-BIG EAST selections:
ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 171, Roxbury, Mass.
*Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 205, Sikeston, Mo.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr., 6-11, 245, Kebemer, Senegal
Russ Smith, Louisville, G, Jr., 6-0, 165, Briarwood, N.Y.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-9, 246, Glenview, Ill.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Jr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-4, 221, White Plains, N.Y.
Vander Blue, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-4, 200, Madison, Wisc.
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, G, Jr., 6-5, 202, Bowie, Md.
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, G, So., 6-6, 185, Hamilton, Mass.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse, F, Jr., 6-8, 215, Baltimore, Md.
ALL-BIG EAST THIRD TEAM
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Jr., 6-2, 175, Accokeek, Md.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Sr., 6-0, 185, Seattle, Wash.
Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 6-0, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-4,210, Jamesville, N.Y.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, So., 6-6, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.
BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Davonte Gardner, Marquette, F, Jr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, Jr., 6-9, 245, Powder Springs, Ga.
JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, F, Jr., G-F, 6-6, 205, Paterson, N.J.
BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM^
Omar Calhoun, Connecticut, G, Fr., 6-5, 195, Brooklyn, N.Y.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, G, Fr., 6-3, 227, Indianapolis, Ind.
Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C, Fr., 7-0, 250, Roturua, New Zealand
Chris Obekpa, St. John’s, C, Fr., 6-9, 223, Makurdi, Nigeria
*JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
*Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, Fr., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
*Denotes unanimous selection.
^Due to a tie in the voting, an additional position was named.