Straight off of an NCAA Championship and bookend titles for his collegiate career, Shabazz Napier has a one way ticket to the NBA. The question is “will there be anyone on the UConn roster joining the Roxbury native in the pros?
First of all, we have to talk about the sensational run as a 7th seed that UConn had at the Big Dance that propelled them to a win over “the one and done crew”, the Kentucky Wildcats and head coach John Calipari.
When former head coach, Jim Calhoun, stepped down from the program after 3 NCAA Titles, he left the program in the hands of the right man. Ollie is a mere 41 year old coach with a bright future and was a journeyman in the NBA for many years. NBA teams didn’t keep Ollie on their roster for his playing ability, it was about the leadership that he could offer to the younger guys.
Many of you didn’t know that Ollie played with both the king himself, Lebron James, and this season’s future MVP of the league, KD, Kevin Durant. Durant expressed that Ollie had a lasting effect on the OKC team and absorbed what Ollie had to offer like a sponge.
Possible UConn NBA Players
Napier already has Lebron James endorsement from a tweet in which LBJ said that Napier should be the first point guard taken in the draft.
Despite leading his team in points, rebounds, and assists and be being named the player of the NCAA Tournament, Napier will get drafted, but not as high as many people think.
He won a championship with Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb, but won’t get drafted nearly as high as Walker. Some draft boards have Napier as a 2nd rounder!
I happen not to agree with that. Napier is a 40 % 3-point shooter in his last 2 seasons and many of those shots were NBA 3- pointers. His field goal accuracy wasn’t exactly high, but this is a player that defines the word tough. Did any of you see the championship game in which he was giving his teammate Ryan Boatright a tongue-lashing? That’s a Michael Jordan move.
Napier should be able to make the 1st round and just like Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers will be overlooked, Napier is the same type of player. Look for this potential mid to late 1st rounder to be a star in the NBA.
Boatright would be well-suited to stick with Coach Ollie and finish out his college career, because there’s no spot for him in the 1st- 2 rounds of the NBA Draft this year.
If he had a standout senior season, there’s an outside shot that he could be drafted as a 2nd rounder, but his shooting must get better for that to happen. I’ve seen many players leave college to get drafted and it never happened.
Boatright is undersized and has overseas or NBA D-League written all over him after his sub- 40% shooting this past season.
His 20 point, 10 rebound performance in the 63-53 win over Florida in the Final Four helped Daniels a great deal in getting recognized and I actually see him having a better chance at making the NBA than Ryan Boatright, but Daniels isn’t ready for the NBA and would well suited, just like Boatright, to stay in school.
Former coach, Jim Calhoun, said that Daniels has the potential to be a pro, but he needs a nastier streak.
On the season, Daniels averaged 13.1 points and 6 rebounds per game. He had some big games and this is a player that needs to work over the summer and have a solid senior season in order to make it to the next level.