Monday, March 11, 2013
3-point shot: Napier, Boatright should stay
By Andy Katz
1. Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright should return to UConn next season for two reasons: Neither player is a lock to be in the first round and runs the risk of not landing any sort of guaranteed contract; the two guards also came back when they could have bolted like Alex Oriakhi (Missouri) and Roscoe Smith (UNLV), even though like Smith they probably would have had to sit a year since they had more than one season left of eligibility. Napier and Boatright made the commitment to UConn through the postseason ban year and to stick it out with new coach Kevin Ollie. Why wouldn't they want to come back and challenge to win the whatever named conference next season? The Huskies would be a contender with Louisville and Memphis to win the league next season. The NCAA tournament would likely be a lock with the development of DeAndre Daniels, Phillip Nolan and Omar Calhoun. If they leave then the Huskies will slide back and the rebuilding will begin a year early. Staying to make a run at a conference title and an NCAA berth makes too much sense based on what occurred this season.
2. I'd also like to see Myck Kabongo return for a full season at Texas. His 23-game penalty (originally a full year) was excessive for a workout last May and the expenses incurred. But he wasn't truthful with Texas when asked initially and that cost him dearly. The Texas staff told Kabongo to watch what he did and yet he still went ahead and put himself in a position to be caught or at the very least in a precarious situation. It was unnecessary. He didn't need the pro workout when he was hardly a lock for a first round spot. The draft is not strong but I'll be surprised if NBA teams are lining up to get Kabongo. He should return to see if he can get Texas back to the NCAA tournament after this disappointing and disjointed season. Returning to lead would also prove to NBA teams that he has matured and worked on his all-around game.
3. The new Big East -- and for now that's what I have to call it -- is considering a host of places for its new conference office with Washington D.C. and New York City possibilities. But why not look at Chicago or Indianapolis for the conference office? If the league adds Butler, Xavier and Creighton as expected then that would give half the league in the Midwest (Marquette, DePaul). The league doesn't need to be in the East to satisfy Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Seton Hall and Providence. And if there are more adds to 12 then they'll likely come from the Midwest as well with Dayton and Saint Louis likely additions, possibly over Richmond (and VCU). The decision on a new league office home will probably be made by the conference commissioner, who hasn't been named yet. The two most consistent names mentioned are former Big East associate commissioner Dan Gavitt, whose new job description now deals with helping run the NCAA tournament, and WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. If I'm Gavitt I take the new commissioner job in a second over the NCAA gig.