Not sure who did Mick Cronin’s scouting report, but let this be a lesson for the Bearcats when they host UConn on March 2: Shabazz Napier isn’t a streaky shooter, especially not in overtime.
The junior guard has scored 46 points in 29:40 of overtime this season on 9-for-14 shooting from the field, 8-for-12 from 3-point range and 20-for-22 from the free throw line.
As a prolific junior year nears its end, Napier has to seriously consider leaving for the NBA Draft. That’s my column from Thursday.
Some other notes and quotes from UConn’s 73-66 overtime win over Cincinnati:
*UConn suffered an 8:51 scoring drought in the second half and still came out tied, 43-43
*A Shabazz Napier free throw tied it up, 53-53. He also hit the game-tying layup in the final minute.
*Tyler Olander grabbed two rebounds in 32 minutes, a truly baffling statistic. In Enosch Wolf’s absence, Olander is in line for more time, but it’s hard to imagine that he plays 30-plus minutes if he can’t contribute anything on the glass or offensively, as was the case Thursday. Niels Giffey, a 6-foot-7 small forward, seems to be UConn’s best center.
*Ryan Boatright shot just 3-for-12, but locked down Cincinnati guard Cashmere Wright, holding him to a 2-for-9 shooting night from 3-point range.
“He had his head down in the last game because he wasn’t shooting the ball well,” Ollie said. “This game, he picked up and he took Cashmere Wright out of the game in the second half. He stepped up and he grew up.”
*Cincinnati entered 19-0 in games in which it scored 60 or more points.
*The Bearcats, who drop to 19-8 overall and 7-7 in the Big East, held a 44-28 advantage on the boards. Cincinnati had 17 offensive rebounds.