Halfway through the season, it’s no stretch to say that Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have comprised one of the nation’s most impressive backcourts.
On this one particular night, they just weren’t as impressive as Louisville’s Russ Smith and Peyton Siva, a duo that has the Cards ranked No. 1 in the regular season for the first time in program history.
Perhaps next year, if both Napier and Boatright return, UConn can make a deep title run of its own. And that raises the big question: What are the odds both return? Right now, I’m not sure that either is a first round pick, so to me, that would make the odds pretty high.
Shabazz Napier has had the better overall season, for sure, but is he the better pro prospect? I caught up with NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith and a pro scout for opinions. You can place your vote/comment below.
Aran Smith, NBADraft.Net: “Napier. Boatright’s lack of strength really impacts what he does well and that’s get into the lane with his speed. He looks really weak physically at the Nations event. I like Napier’s body and skillset a little better and although he’s caught tons on flack for his attitude, scouts have raved about his talent level. I think it’s Shabazz but not by a ton.”
NBA Scout: “Boatright’s got great end-to-end speed and quickness. He’s got good strength given his frame and I think he’s made some progress offensively — he’s shooting it with a little more consistency. You look at Napier, you love his skill level. He’s a a little undersized too, and he’s not going to beat you athletically.”