Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker makes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist wear UConn shirt after National Title win over Kentucky (PHOTO)

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Kemba Walker led UConn to a National Title three years ago. The next season, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis propelled Kentucky to the program’s eighth championship.

In consecutive seasons, the Charlotte Bobcats used draft picks on Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist. On Monday night, the teammates watched the championship game, rooting for their former schools. From start to finish, Walker’s Huskies led, beating MKG’s Wildcats, 60-54, in front of a record crowd inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Following the game, the two Bobcats posed for a picture with Kidd-Gilchrist wearing a No. 15 UConn T-shirt.

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

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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

UConn point guard Shabazz Napier wins 2014 Bob Cousy Award

Shabazz Napier
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One day after leading his Huskies to the second National Title game appearance of his four-year career, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that UConn senior point guard Shabazz Napier was the 2014 recipient of the Bob Cousy Award, given to college basketball’s best floor general.

“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to honor Shabazz Napier as the top college point guard of 2014,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement on Sunday. “Shabazz has proven himself a winner and has excelled tremendously this year with the Connecticut Huskies. He has demonstrated himself as a leader on the court and a deserving winner of this award.”

Napier was named to the Associated Press All-American first team while also earning player of the year honors in the newly-formed American Athletic Conference. He averaged 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, leading the Huskies in all three categories.

“We are proud and honored that Shabazz has been named to receive the Bob Cousy Award and we obviously think it is well-deserved,” UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said. “Shabazz has led our team in numerous statistical categories all season and has been a most valuable part of our success. But just as important, he has been an outstanding senior leader, setting an example for our players off the court. We are extremely happy for him.”

Napier won the award over the five other finalists — UCLA’s Kyle Anderson, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet. In 2011, UConn point guard Kemba Walker won the award.