Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Taking Care of Sha-Bizness" by Bojo

While the recent championship by the UConn Men’s basketball team solidified them as a serious powerhouse program in their sport, it left behind another different, but also stirring debate, if only in the state of Connecticut. And that debate was which point guard was better during their time at UConn, Shabazz Napier or his predecessor Kemba Walker.

                                The guards in question, Napier and Walker

The 2014 championship run was one that was very reminiscent at times of the 2011 Big East and NCAA championship runs, leading many Connecticut fans to inevitable comparison.  The similarities are not unfounded, as both their playing styles, and their numbers (Napier 2014: 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.8 steals per game, Walker 2011: 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.9 steals per game) line up pretty closely. So the question comes down to one of either who contributed more, who had a tougher schedule, or who had the better teammates.

While both were the unquestionable leaders on their team both in terms of emotion and most stat categories, just by pure eye test, it’s my opinion that Shabazz was more important to his team than Kemba was to his, even though Kemba was a year younger and scored more points.
The team this year was not poised to win, and television analysts almost to a man picked against the Connectict squad every round. This year’s team were serious underdogs, so even though Kemba was great, what Shabazz has accomplished is even more impressive.