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Comparing Shabazz Napier’s 2014 title run to Kemba Walker’s 2011 title run


During UConn’s 2014 NCAA title run, many analysts and fans made comparisons between former Huskie guard Kemba Walker in 2011 and senior guard Shabazz Napier’s run in 2014.

Well, you can be the judge.

Napier’s numbers in the 2014 tournament and Walker’s numbers in the 2011 tournament are pretty similar. Walker might have been a junior with slightly better numbers, but Napier played a tougher run of teams.

Which guard had a greater impact on UConn winning a title?

Shabazz Napier in 2014

2013-14 Season: 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.8 steals per game

24 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals in win over Saint Joseph’s
25 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals in win over Villanova
19 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals in win over Iowa State
25 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal in win over Michigan State
12 points, three rebounds, six assists, four steals in win over Florida
22 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals in win over Kentucky

2014 Tournament: 21.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals per game

Kemba Walker in 2011

2010-11 Season: 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.9 steals per game

18 points, eight rebounds, 12 assists, two steals in win over Bucknell
33 points six rebounds, five assists, one steal in win over Cincinnati
36 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals in win over San Diego State
20 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal in win over Arizona
18 points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals in win over Kentucky
16 points, nine rebounds, zero assists, one steal in win over Butler

2011 Tournament: 23.5 points, 6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals per game

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.