Shabazz: 'I've Got to Question These Guys' Hearts'
Here's what Napier had to say about his teammates:
"I've got to question a lot of these guys' hearts. Just simple stuff like allowing alley-oops at the end of the game, just quitting ... it doesn't look like UConn basketball. You don't quit. It doesn't look like basketball at all. Where I'm from, you ain't getting that alley-oop at the end of the game. You won the game, you won the game. Don't try to embarass us. That's just a measure of your heart. If you've got to knock somebody out of the air, you knock them out of the air. The other team's not going to beat you up physically. It can't happen. It looked like we gave up at the end. That's tough to say, because we're a great team. For those words to be coming out of my mouth, it's just horrendous."
"When push comes to shove, it's who's out there and who's not giving it back. Some guys don't want to give it back. Some guys get punched and want to throw a pillow at somebody. It's basketball, you're supposed to go out there and give it your all. This is team basketball, it's not tennis, it's not golf, it's not a one-player sport. You get punched, and some guys are throwing pillows back. You're not supposed to throw pillows back, you're supposed to lock up on defense and do the necessary things to get the win."
"I'm blunt. I told guys all the time what I feel, but sometimes I hold a lot back in ... I don't want to say the wrong things. But at the end of the game, I told the guys, 'I've got to question a lot of your hearts.' You're not giving your all. I make mistakes, but at the same time, I learn from my mistakes, I make sure I apologize for my mistakes, and I tell guys, 'I'm not perfect.' The only reason I'm speaking out is because I'm the captain, and at the end of the day, I"m the only one who wants to speak out. Everybody else, when they get in the locker room, they're so quiet, like we just died."
Napier specifically called out Tyler Olander.
I don't think UConn lacks heart, but when compared to the fire and heart and veteran leadership and smarts displayed by Marquette today, the Huskies sure fell short on just about all counts.
As for UConn: Yeah, they're still in the Big Dance, based on their RPI and strength of schedule. But do they really pass the eye test right now? Are they truly a deserving tourney team, after losing nine of their last 13 games?