Napier makes his decision

Guard Shabazz Napier, UConn's leading scorer and team leader last season, announced today that he will return for his senior year.

Obviously, that's great news for the Huskies.

Napier averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals last season.

"I think Shabazz's decision is great for him and great for the university," said coach Kevin Ollie in a released statement. "I believe that first and foremost, it will give him a chance to earn his degree, which is something I know he'll really cherish.

"At the same time, he'll continue to hone his skills as a lead guard and contribute to us continuing the success of UConn basketball, but also he will keep cultivating the kind of atmosphere I want our student-athletes to be around. He was a big part of that with his leadership on and off the basketball court."

Expectations will rise considerably for UConn with Napier back. Starters Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels also plan to return, according to UConn.

Napier, Boatright (15.4 points) and Daniels (12.1) combined for the highest scoring average of any trio in the Big East last season.

UConn is only losing key reserve R.J. Evans from a team that went a surprising 20-10 overall.

UConn released this statement from Napier:

"After many days of figuring out what decision was best for my family and me, I finally came to a conclusion. Before I announce my decision, I would like to thank many generous people.

"I would like to thank Coach (Kevin) Ollie and the UConn coaching staff for their understanding and cooperation as my family and I needed space and time during this process of deciding what move was best for us.

Also, I would like to thank my teammates for allowing me to lean on their shoulders when I needed some support. I thank them for helping me get to this position in my life. Without them, along with the coaching staff, I would not be where I am now. Brendan Allen and Enosch Wolf, especially, were two people who made things a lot easier for me. I'd also like to thank the UConn fans for understanding as well. Their support for me and the team and their passion for the game have helped me tremendously.

"I'd like to give a special thanks to Coach (Jim) Calhoun, who has pushed me to become a better man, along with becoming a better player every day. We have spent many hours leading up to my decision, figuring out the pros and cons of staying and leaving.

"Of course, I would like to thank my family members, who have helped me through these difficult days and who have wanted nothing but the best for me. Most importantly, I'd like to thank my mother, who has inspired me to be the best that I can be and to try and be a great a role model for those who look up to me.

"That being said, I have decided to remain at UConn for my senior year. I am very much looking forward to getting closer to receiving my college degree, as well as becoming a stronger leader for my teammates on and off the court. We think we have a great team for next season and we're excited about playing for a conference championship and in the NCAA Tournament."

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Post-game breakdown: Central Connecticut

As expected, UConn cruised to victory.

Pre-game preview: Central Connecticut

UConn is back in action today.

Post-game breakdown: Columbia

UConn coach Kevin Ollie saw it coming.He really did.

Pre-game preview: Columbia

UConn has only four non-conference games remaining this season.

Huskies spreading holiday cheer

The UConn basketball team will participate in Kevin Ollie's Christmas for Hartford's Children in the city's Blue Hills Neighborhood on Saturday.

Post-game breakdown: Duke

UConn's offense is in serious need of a tune-up.The Huskies sputttered their way to just 56 points on Thursday night at the Izod Center.

Pre-game preview: Duke

Tonight’s game pits the defending national champion against a serious national championship contender.UConn is a decisive underdog.

UConn-Duke connections

Let’s talk UConn-Duke connections.The Huskies (4-3) and undefeated Blue Devils (9-0) renew their rivalry Thursday night in East Rutherford, N.J.

Post-game breakdown: Coppin State

Not sure if Sunday afternoon’s shootout made UConn basketball fans feel better or worse about their Huskies.

Pre-game preview: Coppin State

UConn needs a bounce back game in a big way today.Coppin State hasn't beaten a Division I team so far this season.

Post-game breakdown: Yale

Coach Kevin Ollie delivered a blunt assessment of his basketball following a second straight last-second loss.Yale 45, UConn 44.

Pre-game preview: Yale

It seems like an eternity since UConn last lost to an in-state foe.You have to go back to 1986.

Boatright in a rush to return, and other UConn news

Senior Ryan Boatright is not 100 percent healthy.

Injury updates on Boatright, Purvis, Calhoun

UConn sent along some injury updates today.

Post-game breakdown, video: Texas

UConn saw its 44-game non-conference winning streak at Gampel Pavilion end in stunning fashion on Sunday.