Napier leads UConn to 2K Sports title

November, 23, 2013

NEW YORK -- Shabazz Napier did his best Kemba Walker impersonation the past two nights at Madison Square Garden.

He deserves an Oscar, because his portrayal was dead-on.

Napier made most of the big plays down the stretch in a 72-70 win over Boston College on Thursday, and made nearly all of them in the final minutes of a 59-58 victory against Indiana on Friday, as Connecticut won the 2K Sports Classic.

The 6-foot-1 senior had 20 points, four rebounds and four assists against the Eagles, and followed that up with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists against the Hoosiers. It was eerily reminiscent of what Walker did two seasons ago for UConn, scoring a record 130 points in five games at the Garden, carrying his team to a Big East tournament title.

Walker's name came up very quickly in the Huskies' postgame news conference, but Napier said he wasn't trying to imitate his former teammate -- well, not exactly.

"That's my big brother. I try to emulate everything that he does in a sense, but also put my type of talent, my type of skills on it," Napier said. "I'm not trying to be him -- that's hard shoes to fill. I'm just trying to be Shabazz."

Just being Shabazz has been plenty good so far this season. Just listen to Indiana coach Tom Crean's postgame thoughts.

Read the rest of the story here.
Kieran Darcy is an staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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