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UConn's Napier named to AP All-America team

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published March 31. 2014 1:00PM   Updated March 31. 2014 1:51PM

Senior Shabazz Napier has earned Associated Press First Team All-American honors, becoming the sixth UConn men's basketball player to achieve that status.

He joins an elite All-American club at UConn that includes Kemba Walker (2011), Emeka Okafor (2004), Richard Hamilton (1999), Ray Allen (1996) and Donyell Marshall (1994).

During their All-American seasons, Walker, Okafor and Hamilton helped carry their respective teams to a national championship. Napier also will attempt to accomplish that feat, as he leads the Huskies into the Final Four this weekend.

Napier scored a game-high 25 points in a 60-54 upset of Michigan State in the East Regional final Sunday at Madison Square Garden. He was named the region's most outstanding player.

UConn will play Florida in Saturday's national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"Napier is a great player," Florida coach Billy Donovan said today on a Final Four coaches' conference call. "I obviously have an enormous amount of respect for him. … He is a really, really gifted offensive player."

Napier, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, leads the Huskies in points (18.1 per game), assists (4.9) and is tied for first in rebounds at 5.9.

Other players on the AP All-American team include Louisville's Russ Smith, Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Duke's Jabari Parker.

Napier also was one of 10 players selected to the Wooden Award All-American Team.

 

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